Updated: Monday, 06 Dec 2010, 12:51 PM MST
Published : Monday, 06 Dec 2010, 12:51 PM MST
Your legal questions answered by the experts of Carter & Valle Law Firm.
Question submitted 11/28/2010:
I have a friend who's father just past away. He was newly married by 44 days. There was a will that was notarized prior to his death but it has not been filed with the court. Is it still a legal document? Can it still be filed with the courts?
2nd - There was an insurance policy. The new wife stated that it will go to the contingent beneficiary because there was not enough time that they were married. Now she states that she wants what is left after paying final expenses.
3rd - What do you suggest my friend do to protect what her father left her in the will? New wife never took possession of his home. She never moved in. Does she need a lawyer?
Answer from Elizabeth V Han of Carter & Valle Law Firm:
1) A will does not need to be filed with the court in order for it to be a legal document. It can be filed after the fact.
2) As far as life insurance goes, It is my understanding that it will go to the beneficiary listed on the insurance policy. This is a regular situation when a person remarries but does not change all the beneficiaries, the new spouse in many cases loses out.
3) The home was his sole and separate property as he owned it before marriage, that means he can will it to whom ever he wants and new wife does not have an interest in it.
I would still have a probate attorney talk with your friend, even if it just for a brief consultation.