Can I stipulate that another person can not leave someone else a portion of my estate. New Jersey. None, My mom wants to

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Customer: can I stipulate that another person can not leave someone else a portion of my estate
JA: Estate laws vary by state. What state are you in?
Customer: New Jersey
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: none, My mom wants to make sure her husband does not leave his sister a portion of her home
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: there is an existing will
Answered by Barrister in 1 min 2 months ago
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Barrister
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Barrister, Expert

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and I will do my best to help with your situation.

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I know your question is important, but there may be a short delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply

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I have read your post and I am sorry to hear you are having to deal with this situation as I realize it can be frustrating and confusing.

Customer
Hello
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Barrister, Expert

If she leaves the home outright to her husband, then he can do whatever he wants with it after she passes.

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But she could put a clause in her will that states he is to inherit the home on the condition that he doesn't transfer any interest to the sister, or the gift would be void and the house would go to XXXXX... whoever else she wanted.

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Then if he did gift some interest in the property, XXXXX could sue him for breach and then ask a judge to enforce the clause in the will.

Customer
My mom has bequeathed my step father 50% of her remaining assets that have not been given to her kids.
Customer
That will include the house and some other minor assets. She is worried that if she passes and then he passes while the estate is still being settled (both are end stage cancer patients) he will be able to leave his estate to his sister which would then include half my mom's estate
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Barrister, Expert

He can leave his estate to anyone he wants to as he would own it. But if she makes a conditional give of the house to him, then if he violated the condition, he loses the house.

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But if he is terminal as well, then she could make it much easier and just put in her will she is giving him a "life estate"...the right to live there for his lifetime... and then the house goes to XXXXX after he dies.

Customer
what would happen then if noone could afford to keep the house, or one of us buys the house outright
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Barrister, Expert

Well, a will doesn't do anything at all until the testator dies.. So if the house was sold while mother is living, it just gets sold and she can give the money to anyone she wants to.

Customer
what if the house is sold after she dies. BTW I am the executor so I'm trying to figure this out for myself as well
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Barrister, Expert

If he has a life estate, it cant' be sold. If she gives him an interest and no one can pay for it, then it gets sold, he gets his interest cashed out and then he can do whatever he wants with the money.

Customer
ok so if she gives him a life estate, who pays for the mortgage on the property?
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Barrister, Expert

So she might want to reconsider giving him anything more than a life estate if she doesn't want the house or the money from it to go to the sister.

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And whoever she says has to pay it... She can state he has to pay for it and any upkeep to keep it... or she can put that the person who gets it after he dies has to pay for it... or they have to split it... or whatever she wants to put. She can put whatever conditions on the life estate she wanted to.

Customer
ok so if she says he has to pay for it and he can't then what happens?
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Barrister, Expert

Then whoever the "remainderman" is... the person who gets it after he dies... can file a lawsuit to have the life estate cancelled and accelerate their possession since he is violating the conditions to keep the life estate.

Customer
Ok, One more scenario please. IF he dies first and has his sister and nephew as beneficiaries. Is there a clause that my mom can put in her will that states that no part of her estate will go to them. Or, since he is passed, his 50% would be divided between the other beneficiaries?
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Barrister, Expert

Whatever he owns upon his death, he can leave to anyone he wants. She has zero control over his separately owned property, or his half of any marital property.

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But if he dies first, then there is no reason at all that mother should leave him anything in her will.... he is deceased.

Customer
but that needs to be stated correct, that if one of the beneficiaries has passed that the estate gets divided among the remaining
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Barrister, Expert

Correct, it is called a survivorship clause.. . you put that if a beneficiary dies before the testator, their gift lapses and goes to someone else.

Customer
which is the best way to update a will that has a codicil already on it and that needs a bit of updating quickly before my mom declines health?
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Barrister, Expert

You can 1. do a new will or 2. do another Codicil. Those are the only two options.

Customer
it will also have a list of items bequeathed to certain people that we are curating right now
Customer
ok thank you, ***** ***** wanted to retain you to check to make sure I'm doing everything correctly, are you able to help me in New Jersey?
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Barrister, Expert

You are very welcome. Glad I could help.

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Unfortunately, I am not allowed to represent customers from the site or recommend anyone personally under my independent consultant agreement with JustAnswer. However, these are a couple of sites that we attorneys actually use if we need local counsel in a state where we aren't licensed. Further, customers have consistently reported good results with these sites:

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www.martindale.com

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www.lawyers.com

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They screen their attorneys based on geographic location, area of practice, time in practice, cost and customer reviews.

Customer
Thank you very much. Have a good night.
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Barrister, Expert

You are very welcome. Glad I could help.

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. If you ever need to reach me in the future, you can post a new question thread on the website with the title "For Barrister” or just add me as a favorite Expert. You'll have the option to do that on your "My Questions” page.

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Have a good evening and be safe!

Barrister

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