Is there an easy way to change my mother's will? 26 Answers as of December 13, 2013

My mother passed away in August 2013. She left a will written in 1979 which left one house to me and one to my brother. Unfortunately, the house for my brother was sold quite a long time ago. Would it be possible to change and have my brother as a co-owner on the current house?

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Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
You cannot change a will once the person signing the will has died. You can agree to ignore the will and share assets.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 12/13/2013
Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
Easy to do with court consent. With you in agreement, the court likely will be glad to go along.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/11/2013
Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
No. That is her last will and testament. Any property the was not addressed in that will, will be distributed according to the intestate (dying without a will) laws of the state. If the current home was not addressed in the handwritten will you are speaking of and you and your brother are your mother's only living heirs the house will be owned by the two of you equally.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 12/11/2013
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, you cannot change someone's will, but you may be able to meet your goal by entering into a beneficiary agreement and/or gifting interest in property passing to you to your brother.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 12/11/2013
Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
No, your mother's will can not be changed now. The change you suggest will most likely be a gift from you at this point. You should have the documents reviewed by a probate attorney to see if there are any provisions that might assist you when one of the assets is no longer there.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/11/2013
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    You cannot change the will of someone who is deceased. You can make a gift if you wish.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    The Krone Law Firm, LLC | Norman B. Krone
    You cannot change the Will of the deceased, however there nothing that will prevent you from gifting an interest in the house after you receive it, though such transfer may be taxable.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    If you agree, you and your brother can make an agreement regarding the distribution of the estate. The agreement is then filed with the probate court. Don't be co-owners of real property; sell the property and split the proceeds. Trust me, co-owners of real property almost always fall to fighting at some point.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    There is no way to change a Will after the person who wrote it is dead. You can simply give your brother half of the remaining house. That would get you to the same place.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Donald T. Scher & Associates, P.C.
    Donald T. Scher & Associates, P.C. | Donald Scher
    No, your Mother has passed and her will cannot be changed. The house sold negates that testamentary gift. If you want your brother to have an interest in the house that you received from Mom, then you make a gift to him of that interest.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    You would not exactly be changing the will, but I believe that you could decline one-half of the estate in favor of your brother. Talk with your probate attorney about it.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Estrada Law P.C. | Michele Ungvarsky
    You cannot change a will. There are several possible ways to achieve the result you wish during probate of the will. Check with an Estate Planning Attorney and get some help.
    Answer Applies to: New Mexico
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    You should be commended for your sense of fairness. There is no way to change her will now that she has died, but once the house is in your name through probate you can add your brother as a co-owner. It is a simple matter of having a deed prepared that conveys half of the house to him.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    Only our mother could have changed her will prior to her passing. But, you can give 50% of the house to your brother by deed.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    Once the maker of the Will dies the Will is fixed and cannot be amended. Only the maker of the Will can modify the Will by Codicil or revoke the old Will and create a new Will. If you were to accept the property as part of your distribution under the Will you could give your brother a half interest in the property but that would be a gift and possibly be subject to a gift tax. A gift tax return should be filed and if your estate is large enough a gift tax due or a portion of your gift tax credit applied. If the property is to be sold and the will otherwise divides the residue of the estate equally between you and your brother, you could file a disclaimer and reject the distribution of the property. This assumes that you are the only legatee of the property and there is no contingent beneficiary of the property legacy. The property would then be returned to the residue of the estate, the property sold and the net proceeds added to the residue of the estate. The residue would be distributed as directed in the Will and you and your brother would share the residue including the net proceeds from the sale of the property. A disclaimer must be in writing, filed with the representative of the estate and this must be done within 9 months of the death of the deceased to avoid gift tax consequences.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    You can't change the will, but you can make your brother a co-owner of the house by doing a partial title transfer.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    No, it is not possible for you to change her will. What you might be able to do is reject half of your inheritance. Assuming that you have no other siblings, your mother did not have a survivng spouse, and her will left the remainder of her estate to you and your brother, the part you reject would go to your brother.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    No changing of the will after death of the maker. The will is now operative and ready for probate administration. After you receive the property via a court order for distribution, you can certain deed a share of the house to your brother as a gift if you so desire.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    There are a couple of ways of accomplishing this. The easiest way would be to honor the Will and then gift a portion of the house to your brother. There would probably need to be a gift tax return filed, but there would be no tax. How best to handle this is something you should discuss with an attorney. I think this is a wonderful thing for you to do and you are to be commended for honoring your mother and your brother in this way!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You cannot change the will. If you wish, you can quit claim 50% ownership of your house to him. you need to think twice on this. He can prevent you selling the house in the future if he does not sign off on the proposed sale.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    No, the will cannot be changed at this point. There are ways to help your brother if you want to do so voluntarily.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Law Offices of Patrick Edaburn | Patrick Edaburn
    You cannot change a will once the writer is deceased. If your brother is agreeable though you are free to split the remaining house as a reflection of her intent. If he is not then your options would be limited, since she had time to change things to reflect the sale.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    You cannot change a will after some one dies. If you want to share the house with your brother you can.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    Possibly you may be able to use a qualifies disclaimer. Speak with a probate attorney. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Robert E. Giffin | Robert E. Giffin CPA
    No you can not change the will. But their are other ways to make your brother a co-owner.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 12/11/2013
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    You can give him a portion of your house, but you cannot change the will.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/11/2013
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