Inheritance Questions, Process, and Disputes

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by Confederate Tyrant, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. My wife's remaining parent passed away recently and I'm looking for advice so I can help my wife and, potentially, brother-in-law handle the process of inheritance as well as paying off any debts of the deceased. They have a family lawyer that is involved, but I'd like to get some information from others who have gone through this before, as well as other lawyers that may view this from a more neutral position. I may not have everything as accurate as possible because I have not seen the Will and Testament, but I understand it to be as follows:

    Executor - Brother-in-law
    Beneficiaries - my wife and brother-in-law
    Inheritance Stipulations - my wife and brother-in-law are to split all estate assets 50/50 with the exception of the home, that is solely willed to my brother-in-law for him to sell for the purpose of paying for graduate school.

    We have only handled the life insurance and funeral/cremation part, so that should all be settled quickly. My understanding is life insurance proceeds are not part of the estate, is that correct?

    Would the handling of any debts of the deceased and how these come out of the estate. What is the overall process of handling this with the estate?

    Would a fully paid home be protected from liquidation to pay off estate debts if it's willed (not sold) to a beneficiary?

    From what I can find, if liquidation of all assets only pays off a certain amount (let's say $150,000 is the max value of the estate's assets but there's $200,000 in total debt) then the credit/medical companies are SOL for the other $50,000. Is that correct?

    They're both beneficiaries to the retirement account but are non-spouse retirement benefits considered part of the estate? I'm not sure if it's 401K, IRA, etc. just that it's a "retirement account."

    There are a couple of disputes right now, one which is the substantially uneven split of assets, and the brother-in-law's verbal attacks at my wife which he used to justify why he should get more than her. Another is more of a potential dispute should the executor choose to liquidate the 50/50 assets first to pay off debt so that way he'd lose less when the home is sold.

    Any of y'all ever had disputes of similar natures? If so, did y'all ever work it out?

    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  2. Benjamen

    Benjamen Member

    Consult a lawyer that specializes in this area of Georgia law.

    From my experience as an executor of an estate:
    1) life insurance is totally separate from the estate.
    2) all debts must be paid off before anything can be distributed to the heirs, even if it means you are forced to sell that house to pay them

  3. TITAN308

    TITAN308 :) :) :)

    My wife has a brother and two sisters, neither of which I am fond of.

    I told her when her parents pass and there is anything of this nature, if we are well off enough let it all go. I can only imagine the ****fest that is going to happen with those clowns if there is even the smallest amount of money involved.

    Just thinking about it makes me cringe.
  4. mdlott

    mdlott Member

    If BIL is co owner on the warranty deed as "Joint Tenant w/ the Right of Survivorship", he automatically owns the home, outside of probate. He or the estate is also responsible for payment of the mortgage, if one exists.
  5. GM404

    GM404 Well-Known Member

    This tells me right now that not an attorney on this board will address your multitude of questions. Of course I could be wrong, but I think your best bet is get an attorney that will actually represent YOU...not give you some general answers that may or may not apply.
  6. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

    That's the smart thing
  7. I understand what you mean. I should specify that I'm not looking for legal representation to handle these dispute, it's just a dispute between family about the contents of the Will. So I'm asking if any of y'all were able to resolve disputes like grown adults.

    The other questions were so I understood a little more of what is/isn't the estate.
  8. From what I understand, it's simply put in the Will that the home goes to the brother-in-law. No mortgage, but also no deed paperwork was filled out to make him the owner.
  9. Thanks for that clarification. I have no issues with selling the house to pay the debts, and honestly expect to have to do so.
  10. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    ConfedTyrant, you need legal advice.
    You've already got a lawyer studying this issue, right?
    If you want a second opinion, sit down with another lawyer whose primary practice area is wills, trusts, and estate planning. Pay $300 or whatever an hour of his or her time costs.
    If it looks like there's a problem with what your first lawyer's strategy is, be prepared to fire the first one and retain the second, at an hourly rate, going forward.

    If you need a referral to a Wills/ Trusts attorney who litigates such disputes in court, PM me.
  11. 1911

    1911 7 Year Member

    How did your BIL manage to get all of the house?

    I am not a lawyer, but I have worked in many Estates (as a financial adviser).

    I'd stay out of it if I were you. The two heirs needs to meet privately to discuss this. I would not hire a lawyer (yet).

    Insurance proceeds are are out of Probate.
  12. I agree with EJR, that's a smart thing. But I hope all goes well for you if you're already getting a feeling that it won't go well. I certainly wouldn't have expected family to act like this.
  13. The only lawyer involved is the family lawyer that was involved with the Will. But my wife, nor I, have talked with this lawyer yet. I'm hoping they all sit down soon and go over everything. As I said initially, I may be off on some of the details, but everything I've been told has been from my brother-in-law.
  14. How? Apparently she put it in the Will that the house goes to him so he can sell it and use the proceeds to pay for school (he says he understands that the house may have to be sold to pay off debts). Now, why did she do that? I honestly don't know, but I have opinions as to why.

    It's going to get discussed again once he's back in town. I don't have a problem staying out of it, all I want is for them to work out any disputes. However, if it's just going to be a repeat of the previous communication about it, then it's just going to be circular logic with a brat...if you can call that logic.
  15. TITAN308

    TITAN308 :) :) :)

    I've known her siblings enough years now to know exactly how they are going to act. Thankfully (I guess?) I don't think her parents have much to leave behind. That may be a blessing in disguise when all is said and done.

    Let the other three siblings bicker and fight over irrelevant knick-knacks and a house that probably isn't worth $100,000.

    On the other hand, and I know how shallow this sounds but there is no otherway to put it, I am an only child and stand to come into a substantial windfall when my mother passes. Hopefully that won't be for another 30-40 years, but it is what it is as they say. If she was anything like her father, she will be around till the 100's. This would actually benefit me the longer she lives :lol: She is such a damn guru at her investments I often tell her she passed on the wrong genes to me.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  16. rankhornjp

    rankhornjp Active Member

    After having 2 parents die, my father and my MIL, i can only guarantee ONE thing; Death changes the living.
  17. a_springfield

    a_springfield Well-Known Member

    I have told my wife if her half brother tries to contest her fathers will there are going to be problems. He is a 40 year old POS that has nearly 200,000 in student loans living on pell grants and welfare working part time if any and has not graduated in the 10 years I have known my wife. He is only willed a "fishing equipment".
  18. GM404

    GM404 Well-Known Member

    Plus you can add a statement in the will explicitly telling them they get nothing and if they try to claim otherwise, it will act as an absolute bar to any claim so then they will be SOL. My Dad have one of his kids a sum of cash for a house down payment and out in the will that he already got what he was going to get and to bugger off.
  19. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

    I have a friend that has willed her son and daughter $1 each, so they can't contest that she left everything to her grandchildren.
  20. Wheedle

    Wheedle Active Member

    I'm sorry for your family's loss, and I'm sorry that people act the way they do after a parent dies. It is truly shameful. I try to tell myself that it is mostly people lashing out because they are hurting...