What can we do if our stepfather hid our mother's will? 17 Answers as of July 17, 2013

My mom did a will before she got married leaving us her home. Years later, she sold home and purchased new home with stepfather. She dies and we know she did new will to cover us on new home but stepfather chooses to probate old will because we do not have copy of new will. We do have him on audio tape stating we get her 1/2 of the home. We are in probate contesting this old will. Need help.

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James Law Group
James Law Group | Christine James
Find the attorney who drafted the new will.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/10/2013
Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
You should not do this alone. What information do you have about the other will? When was it done? Do you know who might have drafted it? Was their a prenuptial agreement? Have you posted notices at the court house inquiring about the existence of the other will? Who drafted the old will? have you contacted him or her to see if they drafted the new will?
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/17/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
File a probate and get an order requiring him to produce the will. You could also check with her attorney.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 1/10/2013
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
Depending on how the home is owned, it may or may not be a probate asset. It is only probate assets that are controlled by a Will. If the title of the asset is such that it passes to your stepfather upon your mother's death, then it does not matter what her Will says. This really needs to be reviewed by an attorney for you to get more guidance.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/10/2013
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
Did an attorney draft the will? If so, that attorney needs to testify plus may have copy of will. If she purchased a new home with your step father, and if deed has his name on it as joint tenant then you would not have rights to house. Look at the deed language at your Register of Deed office. If only your mothers name on it, and will gives anyone the home, then you may be entitled to it. The husband is entitled to allowances which could include the home. Filing a petition requesting the admittance of the second will and questioning the step father could be done.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/10/2013
    The Center for Elder Law
    The Center for Elder Law | Don Rosenberg
    Here is the bottom line, you need an attorney to represent you. There is probably a way to do discovery to determine if the new will exists. What attorney did the new will.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/10/2013
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    If you are in court you should have an attorney. Your attorney will guide you through the process. Your financial plan is not complete until it is co-ordinated with your estate plan. Will your family be provided for when you are gone? Without a Will, the court will decide.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/8/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    Actually this whole thing is backwards. Contesting the old will leave you with nothing, in actuality the old will does leave you and your siblings 1/2 the home, whereas, because she bought a new home with her husband, you are not entitled to anything because laws abides by a legal concept that says that purchasing a home as husband and wife, both own the home in its entirety and when one dies, the survivor owns the entire home (its called tenancy by the entirety).
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/8/2013
    Lampton Law Firm LLC | Norman Lampton
    Seek adequate local counsel!
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 1/8/2013
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
    Regardless if your mother had a Will prior to the marriage leaving her homestead to you and your siblings, if she later purchased a new home with your step-father and both were titled on the property ?as husband and wife? then the house belongs to him. If she purchased a new home after she got married, titled in just her name, under Florida law, your step-father is entitled to a life estate in the house or a ? interest in the property (assuming your mother died after October 1, 2010). Prior to 10/1/2010, he would have only been entitled to a life estate. This is so, regardless of whether she had a Will leaving the property to you because Florida law does not allow a decedent to leave their homestead outright to anyone, other than the spouse (unless there are minor children involved).
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/8/2013
    Bassinger & Harvey
    Bassinger & Harvey | Randy J Harvey
    You can go into court and get an order for him to produce the will to the court.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/8/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Look at the title on the deed. If your mother and stepfather held the house in joint tenancy, the house goes to him solely and automatically at her death. If they held it as tenants in common, she could leave her share to anyone she chose. Also check with any attorney your mother might have hired to draft the new will and see if he or she retained an executed copy.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 1/8/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    You really need to hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/8/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Hire an attorney to help you. It is too complicated for the average person to handle their own contest. Call the State Bar of Idaho for a referral.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 1/8/2013
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    You are already doing it...contesting the new will.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 1/8/2013
    Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
    Do you know who drafted the "missing will?" You really need a lawyer on this one.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/8/2013
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    You will need to find the new will and probably need the services of an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/8/2013
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