Could my sister leave her inheritance to another sibling not stated in the Will? 16 Answers as of July 09, 2015

Our parents died 17 days apart and left no will. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. One of my sisters lives in an assisted living facility and is on SSI. She wants to leave her share to my other sister who cared for our parents. The estate lawyer says that even though she has a will stating that my sister is her sole heir, the money will automatically go to her abusive son. Is there a way to ensure that our sister gets this extra share of money? All of the siblings are okay with this arrangement. Thank you.

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Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
If your sister disclaimed her share then you would treat her as if she predeceased your parents. Therefore, her son would inherit her share as your attorney stated if she disclaimed it. They only way she would be able to get it to the other sister would be to take her inheritance and gift it to her.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 7/9/2015
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, one may bequeath assets to one's siblings without regard for one's child, so the sister may provide for her sister instead of her abusive son in her will.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 7/3/2015
James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
Something is wrong here. Your sister's Will if valid would effectively disinherit her son. Either you are missing some key facts or the lawyer is wrong.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/2/2015
Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
The only way it will go to the son is a possible provision in the will that talks about one dying and their proceeds passing to their issues (children). I would have your sister accept the money and then gift the proceeds to the sister. However doing so will cause her losing her SSI and other state and federal funded assistance. What she needs to do is establish a Special Needs Trust for herself. The money would be wired directly into that account for the Trustee's distribution. You need to have her talk to a estate planner to set-up this Trust and to minimize any negative exposure. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/2/2015
Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
The attorney for your parents estate should be able to outline the options available to the sister. If she were to disclaim her share of your parents estate that share will be distributed as if she had predeceased your parents. Under statute that means the share would be divided among her descendants. The share would go to her son and other children, if any. The sister could accept the estate distribution and gift the distribution to her sister. Unfortunately, that would jeopardize her receipt of government benefits. There are no other options for the sister on SSI to directly benefit the other sister. If she owed your parents estate money then that sum would offset her distribution and all of the other legatees would benefit.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 7/2/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    In California, you can easily create a Will excluding a certain person from inheriting anything. You have to speak to the attorney again because that is not what he must have meant. The problem is whether she is mentally competent to make a Will and whether SSI can collect any of her assets. The three of you probably could just decline any part of her share so that it goes to the other sister. You need to speak to a competent probate attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/2/2015
    Wellerstein Law Group, P.C.
    Wellerstein Law Group, P.C. | Elisha Wellerstein
    If your sister disclaims her share of the estate, she is treated as if she has predeceased her parents and therefore her children will receive her share instead. Your attorney is correct.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/2/2015
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    Is your sister's life expectancy extremely short? If your parent's estates are probated prior to your sister passing away, and she receives her share of the parents estate while she's still living, and either make a new will or update the one that she has, to include her share of your parent's estate, then her will, will rule once her estate is probated. If she doesn't do this then her son would get the parents share. Unless your parents disinherited the sister that she wants to leave her share to will it automatically go to the son. Your sister will also have to make it clear in her will that she either disinherits her son or be specific as to whom that share of your parent's estate is to go to.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/2/2015
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    If she puts it in her will and she is competent, it should be binding unless her son is handicapped or a minor.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/2/2015
    Law Office of Jeffrey T. Reed | Jeffrey T. Reed
    She should be able to disclaim her share and it would go back to the rest of the siblings and they can give it to the one sister.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2015
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Advise you seek an independent probate lawyer for a second opinion. That lawyer will want to see all of the documentation and will probably charge an hourly rate for his opinion. Your sister could assign her share to another sister of your parents estate. But sounds like she also needs a will or a trust plan to exclude her abusive son, who is a direct blood heir; it is obvious her sister is collateral blood heir. Your disabled sister needs to put a trust estate plan in place immediately to deal with the abusive son regarding receipt of any part of her own estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/2/2015
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    Seems odd. Ask the estate attorney or make an appointment with an attorney to review the specific facts. Maybe he is a joint tenant on the asset. Again seek legal counsel. By responding to your inquiry we are not creating an attorney client relationship. We are merely pointing out if you should seek out an attorney to answer your question. Best of luck.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/1/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    Having trouble figuring out which sister and why the son (whose?) is involved. Please be more clear.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2015
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    This is a complex situation, especially since you have a sister who is receiving government benefits. You should speak with an attorney who practices probate law to discuss the options.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/1/2015
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Yes she can assign her interest to the sister. Only if she disclaimed would it go to her son.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2015
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    As long as her will states specifically that she chooses to disinherit her son and that she intends that her sister inherit all of her assets, the sister should be able to inherit whatever's in the estate after all expenses are paid. However, if her son is still a minor, he by state statute will inherit at least some of his mother's estate.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/1/2015
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