If step mother wants nothing and be taken out of will, will she still be entitled to anything if she's not in the will? 13 Answers as of January 07, 2014

She is willing to sign a paper brought up by me and have it notarized stating she wants to give up her survivorship rights. Wondering if there is a particular form to be signed or if this will work, her just signing a piece of paper stating this and having it notarized with witnesses.

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Strickland Law, PLLC
Strickland Law, PLLC | Jeffrey S. Strickland
In Tennessee, even if she is not included in the will, she is entitled to a certain percentage of the estate based upon length of marriage, and other items. If the spouse is still alive, they can complete an anti-nuptial agreement. If the spouse is deceased, she can disclaim her right to any asset. She needs to confer with counsel.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 1/20/2014
Kirby G. Moss PC | Kirby G. Moss
If she is in the will, it will control over anything signed by her as you indicate. Best practice is to change the will to reflect these intentions.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 1/7/2014
Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
A spouse has a statutory right to renounce a Will and take 1/3 of the estate of the deceased spouse. Any attempt to waive such rights would be in the nature of a post-nuptial agreement. These are not favored. The best chance to enforce a post-nuptial agreement would be with full financial disclosure and after the spouse discusses her rights with counsel. Even with such steps the waiver of rights or agreement could be overturned for unconscionability or not having consideration.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 1/7/2014
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
It all depends on what the paper says. You really should have this done by a lawyer. If not, the form may not be right, or she might later claim she was mislead about her rights. It is worth doing this properly.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/7/2014
James Law Group
James Law Group | Christine James
You need to discuss exactly what you are trying to do and what she is giving up with an attorney. She has some rights she may not be able to give up. It may be best to have a post-nuptial agreement between her and your father. In any event, you should not be involved in it as it may come back against you as influencing her and have no effect at all. See an attorney - better yet, have your father see one.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/7/2014
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    In the event you want to accommodate a step mother, to be not entitled to anything under a will or trust, specifically name her and state she takes nothing or receive nothing. No notarized document will be valid.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Caution! In California, a valid disclaimer is treated as though that person predeceased the decedent. That means anyone entitled to receive through her by intestacy would become entitled to her share. That could be her children, parents, siblings, etc. Only the testator can remove her from the will without her heirs becoming entitled to her beneficial interest.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    You don't state whose will is involved in this matter. If it is your father's, even though she signs away her rights in advance, state law may allow her a percentage of the estate anyhow.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    We need more information. Is there any community property [she gets half as being her portion]? Any property owned in joint tenancy; signed document giving up the right of survivorship sufficient to end joint tenancy but she would still be entitled to her percentage share of the property. It would be worthwhile to have her go to an estate and trusts attorney [with your coming along but it being her attorney] to find out exactly what assets are effected and what can be done.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    It's not clear what you mean. Whose will, and has the person already passed away? Your will can leave your estate to those people you choose. Your step-mother isn't a natural object of your bounty, if she's not in your will then she's not. Your will is the last thing you will say on Earth; it has to be perfect. Get an estate planning lawyer to help you with it, and get it right.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law
    Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law | Martin Barnes
    There are assets that pass to your step mother outside of a Will. In any case - you should encourage your step mother to see an attorney. If not properly done, her refusing an inheritance could create a taxable event, or it could affect future access to services under Medicaid - there could be consequences that she is not aware of.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    There is no form for her to sign. As long as she is not signing the statement under duress, it should be valid. If she is not in the will, the only thing she may be entitled to are assets not addressed in the will, otherwise she won't be entitled to anything.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/7/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    It would work better after the person is deceased and an estate is opened. Then it can be filed with the court and will be a matter of public record.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 1/7/2014
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