Family feud over living will
My grandfather’s living will declares my mother and my aunt joint owners in all of his property (car and house – with everything in it). Here where my questions (1) The time spent by my mother and I maintaining his home (since 1987), cooking to his diet guidelines, cleaning, electrical work, etc – shouldn’t that be taken into consideration as our investment into this home? (2) Not everything in this house is his, all 3 of us live here, my mother and I do not have receipts for stuff we bought years ago – why do we need to prove that it belongs to us now? (3) All of the household bills are in my mothers name and have been since 1987. As far as most companies are concerned this house belongs to my mother. (4) Lastly I have been paying the bills that are in his name since January of this year, can I expect to see any of that money back now that he has passed? The primary reason for my concern is that my aunt wants to list the house for sale, yet my mother and I still live here. I have no problem with the plan of paying my aunt a third of the homes current value after it is inspected by a pro. I just don’t agree with paying her half the homes value along with her keeping his car and taking most of his stuff.
So what can we do?
Family feud over living will My grandfather’s living will declares my mother…
Family feud over living will
Re: Family feud over living will
Thank you for your question.
I presume that you are referring to the Last Will and Testament, (Will) not the Living Will (which is a medical directive, and has nothing to do with property and lapses upon the signer’s death.)
This is a common problem when people live together in a household, have no formal agreement as to how property is to be held. Who paid the bulk of the expenses, such as house payments, utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance? Were they all paid equally? Even if they were, it might be presumed that your occupancy of the home was reward for the payments you made.
Property you own or purchased with your funds is yours and not part of another’s estate. You might have to prove that to keep your property, although the estate would likewise have to prove that it belonged to the estate. If monies were pooled to purchase items, they might be common property, and therefore be subject to division. The estate now owns all property of the decedent. The heirs of the estate will receive property after estate expenses and payments of creditors and debts.
Ownership of a home is not determined by whose name a telephone bill is in, but by the recorded deed. Apparently there was no written agreement, will, or beneficiary deed to transfer the home to you, other than as stated in the will.
Your aunt is not entitled to anything until awarded by the personal representative. Who is listed as such in the will? Is a probate opened?
You need the will examined by an attorney. You can hae that at no charge by calling 480.835.1500 for a free consultation. I would be interested in examining the will, and could tell you more, but need more facts for a full opinion, including an exam of the will. For that reason we offer free initial consultations.
James D. Jenkins
Jenkins Law Center PLC
6315 East Main Street, Suite One
Mesa, AZ 85205