Tulsa, OK asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Kansas

Q: My mother father had a will forme and my brother to split everything 50 /50 the willwas that way 54 years mom died

And dad changed it my brother got everything I didn't even get a will copy is this legal

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1 Lawyer Answer
Scott C. Stockwell
Scott C. Stockwell
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Lawrence, KS
  • Licensed in Kansas

A: It is unclear whether your question pertains to your mother's or father's estate. Because of that ambiguity, I would encourage you to visit with an attorney.

Your mother and father may have had a joint will. Attorneys generally discourage clients from writing joint wills because of the problems they create. A joint will might have a provision that prevents the other spouse from amending the will after the death of the first spouse.

When your mother passed away, the will that she had in place at the time of her death would control the distribution of her estate. Her will could not be changed after her death. As for your father, he could write his own will, unless there was some enforceable agreement otherwise (perhaps included in a joint will).

The will itself must be filed with the court within six months of the date of death. If someone is withholding the will from an heir (you), devisee, or legatee, you may file a petition with the court to administer the estate. In the proceeding, the court has the power to order the production of the will and other assets of the estate. You, or the attorney assisting you, should demand in writing the will so that it may be filed.

One other point: If your father is living and owns the joint assets (through joint tenants with right of survivorship (JTRS) deed of the home, for example), even with a joint will, he could attempt to transfer assets with lifetime transfer or a trust. You should consult with an attorney to determine a course of action.

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