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Is it legal to not follow a will?

A lady I work with is a widow with two daughters, both grown & have their own families. She has openly stated that even though her husband specifically provided for his daughters in his will, she's not giving them anything and they can fight over everything when she dies. Is it legal to keep money or household items from the rightful heirs, designated by a will?

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yogapantz

Asked by yogapantz at 1:35 PM on Sep. 1, 2009 in Money & Work

Level 11 (620 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • She has to follow it and they can fight her on it now.

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:38 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • The girls can hire a lawyer and make her give them what is rightfully theirs.
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 1:38 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • I'm pretty positive she's not allowed to do that and it would be easy to legally claim what's theirs.
    mommatomanyy

    Answer by mommatomanyy at 1:39 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • I don't think that is legal, but the daughters would have to have a copy of the will and get an attorney.

    Does the man's will specify the money will go to the daughters at the time of his death, or does the asset transfer supposed to happen after the wife's death? Could the assets be considered partly hers? In a community property state, anything he owns is also hers, (unless it's held separately) so any money or assets that he was planning on leaving could be legally hers.

    My dad's will was really badly written (lousy attorney). It basically took away my mom's right to her own property, which isn't legal.
    mancosmomma

    Answer by mancosmomma at 1:47 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • yes she CAN do that.........trust me I know all to well about it too! They need an attorney.
    aussiesma

    Answer by aussiesma at 2:11 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • It depends on the will and the items. Some things cannot be willed. Others can. Best bet is to get an attorney and figure out exactly what should have been done. If she's custodian of money left for the kids or trusts, she may be requried to provide accounting of the money, too.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:24 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • She can not LEGALLY not follow the will. My mom went through this with her step siblings when her step father died. The 3 step siblings tried to keep everything for themselves. After two years of getting the run around, my mom and my aunt filed papers with the court regarding the will. They didn't even have to hire a lawyer for themselves. They went before a judge with the will and the complaint and he gave them 2 weeks to get the money to them or he would hold them in contempt of court. They still didn't give them the money, so they called the judge's secretary and the judge informed them that if they didn't give them the money they would be jailed and stay in jail until they made the arrangements for them to be paid. It took 3 years total, but they got their money!
    slw123

    Answer by slw123 at 5:46 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • It depends on your state laws. Some states require going through probate court before a will is honored
    RidingPink

    Answer by RidingPink at 12:09 AM on Sep. 3, 2009

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