Denver, CO asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Utah

Q: My mother and father kept their finances separate from each other

he bought the house, she bought everything in it. When she died, in her will she left me all of her personal belongings (a handwritten list included with the will) which shows the furniture, etc. I've left everything in place since my father is still alive and don't want him living with just a folding chair. She also left me her car. My brothers' attorney (they are trying to break up the trust) is saying that my father has "marital interest" in these things so they don't really belong to me. I've never heard of such a thing when dealing with a will. Is there such a law and what does it say? Can my mother's wishes prevail?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Wesley Winsor
Wesley Winsor
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: You can't disinherit your spouse. So regardless of what the will says, your father has a right to the first $75,000 + half of whatever is left over. Do you know if they had a prenuptial agreement? Probably not right?

So yes there is a marital interest. All personal property is considered owned in joint tenancy with a right of survivorship.

If you are looking to enforce the provisions of the will, you will need to file an action in probate. That way, the Court will determine who is entitled to what. You may not be able to get everything, but you might be able to get some things or maybe half of what was on the list depending on the property that is there.

I hope this helps.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.