So we were helping Mom’s husband clean out the mess in his house. When we were in the detached garage, we found a safe inside of it. Inside of it was $4,000 in cash, the phone number to her stockbroker, and a will that was written in 2006. That will dictated that my mother’s assets be split between the three of Mom and Dad’s children. The three of us have wills that were written earlier, but they were all from before Dad passed away.
She married her husband in 2021. Since getting married, my mother and her husband have maintained separate bank accounts at the insistence of the husband’s daughter, who always accused my mother of being a gold digger, but was also collecting $4,000 a month in support payments from her father. Those payments are scheduled to continue until the daughter turns 25 years old. (She is 23 now)
According to my brother’s estate attorney, the will from 2006 is the controlling one, but since they were married after that will was written, her husband (we will call him John) is entitled to a third of the assets, then the remainder will be split according to the will. John, however has dementia and isn’t in good health. That means that John’s daughter Susan will get whatever money he gets from my Mother’s estate as soon as he passes.
This is important, because the stockbroker tells us that he closed Mom’s account back in June, at her request. The money was sent to a bank by wire transfer, and that is where the trail grows cold. The balance that was transferred was over $150,000. That amount represents the remainder of my father’s retirement savings.
This bothers us, because Susan was absolutely ugly to my Mother. She opposed the wedding, and when she and her father went out to dinner, Susan would never let my mother go with them. Letting this woman that none of us know inherit the money that my Mom and Dad spend a lifetime putting away isn’t sitting right with us. We have discussed it- all three of us siblings have grandchildren, and we want to fight for that money and use it to set up a trust for Mom and Dad’s great-grandchildren, our grandkids.
This would possibly entail a protracted and expensive legal battle. Lawyers would likely eat up half of the money that is there. So instead, we are going to request that the state place Mom’s estate in probate, and then offer to settle it by giving John half of the estate, with the remaining half being used to setup a trust for the benefit of Mom’s great-grandchildren.
If Mom intended things to go any other way, then why didn’t she write a new will? If the 2006 will was no longer her wishes because of her wedding, then why didn’t she rewrite it? Why keep it in the safe?
Still a mess, and getting messier every day.