What does my dad have to do to ensure the will remains the same after he has remarried? 29 Answers as of February 27, 2014

My dad has remarried but wishes the will he wrote before getting married leaving his estate to his two children to remain the same.

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Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
He will either need to draft a new will or better yet, set up a trust for his estate.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2014
Law Office of Jeffrey T. Reed | Jeffrey T. Reed
Any property designated as his separate property should still be fine. Keep in mind your father can do anything he wants with his property and once he remarries there are issues of what property may become community property. If he is in agreement you might want to have a family meeting including his new wife and draft an agreement everybody signs outlining who gets what. This may be a concern your father?s new wife needs to address, especially if she has children of her own. Also, a will may not avoid probate. If he only has a will, and depending on the size of the estate, you should encourage him to set up a trust to avoid probate proceedings.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/26/2014
Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
That is fine to do, however he must realize that since is remarried, his new wife has a right to elect to take against the will. What that means is that she would be entitled to her statutory portion had he died without a will. If you father wants to make sure that his two children inherit his estate, he must do something more than just a will. He can execute a trust, can title his assets to pass to the kids after his death, or complete beneficiary designations. If his goal is to leave his estate to his children, he should consult with an estate planning attorney so they can make sure his goal is accomplished. Please let me know if I can be of assistance to you or your father.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 2/26/2014
Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
It will remain the same if HE does not make any changes to it. Remember the Will is memorialization of how a person wants their assets distributed once he passes away.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/26/2014
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
He needs to contact his lawyer to have an amendment to the will mentioning the new spouse and what his intentions are as to her.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/26/2014
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    He must write a will that mentions his new wife. Ideally, it would say that he leaves her nothing or that she is not a beneficiary of the will. Who knows? There may be something that he wants to leave her, in which case that should be put in, and the disinheritance I describe above won't be necessary. For example, I give my wife the flower pot in my living room.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    Draft a new will after he is married.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    Any lawyer working in the field of wills can draft an affirmation/republication.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/26/2014
    Tarasyuk Law Offices
    Tarasyuk Law Offices | Anna Tarasyuk
    Anytime there is a a big life event, such as a remarriage, it is ALWAYS a good idea to have the existing documents reviewed and possibly revised if necessary. Since California is a community property state, a spouse has certain inheritance rights, which need to be addressed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Strickland Law, PLLC
    Strickland Law, PLLC | Jeffrey S. Strickland
    He should have sought advice prior to getting remarried. Absent a pre-nuptial agreement, the spouse cannot be disinherited in Tennessee. The surviving spouse can opt to take the elective share, which ranges from 10-40% depending upon the length of marriage. There are steps he could take, but he needs to seek advice from counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    Your father should contact an estate planning attorney to update the will according to his marital status and to reiterate the original distribution of his previous will.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    He need do nothing if he wishes the will to remain the same. However, assuming he passes and his present wife does not receive anything under the will or any property by way of being a beneficiary of an insurance policy, certificates of deposit or any other property that would go to her upon his death, she may choose to elect against the will to receive one third of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    He needs to meet with an attorney and amend his will to name his wife and state that he does not wish to provide for her. Otherwise the law will consider her UNINTENTIONALLY omitted and give her a good share of his property. Any community interest that is acquired during the marriage will still become her's however - you cannot change that unless a pre or post nuptial agreement is signed by both parties.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Donald T. Scher & Associates, P.C.
    Donald T. Scher & Associates, P.C. | Donald Scher
    He must resist the pressure his current wife will place on him to make a new will.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    The best thing to do is to see an attorney. In Missouri, his new wife can always take against the will and end up with part of his estate. Your father may have to do a post-nuptial agreement with his new wife and also a new estate plan.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    He needs cooperation from his new spouse. She has statutory rights as a surviving spouse that could totally undermine his earlier will. He needs to provide for her to the extent that it is considered sufficient consideration for waiving her statutory rights.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    If he doesn't make changes, it will remain the same. However, new wife may have some marital rights to his property. If they did not sign a pre-nup when they got married, they may want to consider doing so now.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    He needs to see an attorney, and understand the law and its effect after his remarriage.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    It can be left as drafted. However, his new spouse can plead forgotten spouse and could be awarded part of the estate. Best that the will be rewritten and, explicitly state that the new spouse is not to gain anything from his, prior to marriage, estate.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    This will not work. Upon marriage, your father's wife automatically has rights under Michigan law. The only way to change those rights is by pre-nuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement. A Will can be challenged, and/or elected against by the spouse. The spouse would also be entitled to any jointly held property or assets designating her as beneficiary. Under Michigan law, the spouse could elect to take the first $125k, plus 1/4 of all remaining assets, regardless of what the Will says. This is something that your father *should have* addressed before getting married. At this point, his spouse will need to consent to just about anything that he does. He should meet with an estate planning attorney, as soon as possible to try to straighten this out.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    I recommend that your father update his will since he has remarried. Even better, he should establish a trust and have his property transferred to the trust. The trust documents can name the beneficiaries and a successor trustee to take over after your father dies or becomes incompetent.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    Your father's Will remains valid. His wife will have rights of renunciation of the Will that will allow here to claim 1/3 of the total estate. The balance of the estate will be divided proportionately in accordance with the terms of the estate. Specific bequests could be affected. If your father created a Living Trust the assets deposited into the trust during his lifetime would not be affected by the wife's rights of renunciation. You father would be in absolute control of the trust and could add and remove assets from the trust at any time.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Your father doesn't need to do anything. A will is effective until the testator voluntarily chooses to change it. However, some states permit a surviving spouse to inherit a portion of the estate automatically prior to distribution to the beneficiaries. If you father wants to avoid that, he should draft a new will or add a codicil to the existing will addressing this particular issue.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Holman Cahill Garrett Ives Oliver & Andersen | Larry R. Garrett
    He needs to sign a will that reflects his current wishes.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Estrada Law P.C. | Michele Ungvarsky
    Many states will not allow a spouse to be disinherited. Your father needs to see an Estate Planning Attorney to make the correct selection of documents to preserve the bequests for the children from the previous marriage.
    Answer Applies to: New Mexico
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Kirby G. Moss PC | Kirby G. Moss
    If that is what it said before getting remarried, that is what will control.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    First, he doesn't change his Will. Second, he will need a Marital Agreement with his spouse. This is necessary in order for the spouse to waive her rights as surviving spouse. For more detailed information, he should consult with an attorney specializing in estate planning.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    As long as he does not want to change the will, he does not have to do anything.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 2/24/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    He needs to execute a new Will or get a pre or post nuptial. In Nevada, if the assets passing via Will are $100,000 or less they all go to the surviving spouse unless there is a pre or post nuptial agreement.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/24/2014
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