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Thomas_1925

marital assets

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My wife died. During our marriage we purchased a home but deeded it only in her name. The mortgage was in both our names. What is the law on marital assets and probate assets?

My Step daughter has stepped in and taken everything we worked for and I am now only getting 1/3 of every thing I worked and paid for.How can this be right. My wife and I bought the house after we had been married 12 years and after we bought the house my wife didn't work. I paid for everything.

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How was the house paid for? Did you and your wife contribute money to the purchase? Generally, in community property states all property purchased during marriage is equally distributed upon divorce. However, there are exceptions to this general rule which includes if the money used to purchase the property originates from the person's separate property (i.e. inheritance).

Also, if the property was in your wife's name, then under you jurisdiction's laws she probably had a right to bequeath it to whomever she determines.

Where are you located?

Continue your research with these links:

Arrange a free consultation with an estate planning attorney. Good luck.

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I am located in South Carolina. We bought the house with money we made from selling a house that was in both our names. Plus while we were married my wife was left a house when her uncle passed away it was only worth about $30,000 and in bad condition. I totaly remodeled the house and we sold it for $129,000. We then put $100,000 down on the house we lived in when she died. I only owed $49,000 on the house when she died. This house I also totaly remodled. Every payment and all the remodling came out of my business account. I am self employed and as I said my wife no longer worked outside the home.

The house that was inherited I did all the work on and paid for all materials. We had been married about 5yrs when her uncle died.

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I don't recall your mentioning a will cutting you out entirely, but if that's the case, your spousal elective share is one-third.

"What is the law on marital assets and probate assets?"

In SC, if your wife died without a will, you'd be entitled to half your wife's estate.

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t62c002.htm

"My Step daughter has stepped in and taken everything we worked for ...."

You don't bother to say how this is so, but clearly you need to get off the internet and consult local estate-probate counsel.

"My wife and I bought the house after we had been married 12 years and after we bought the house my wife didn't work. I paid for everything."

That's not relevant if you allowed the title to be in her name alone.

"Every payment and all the remodling came out of my business account."

That was a bad idea, but neither here nor there as to present issue.

Seek local counsel.

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I had local council. He did not do his job. My wife had brain cancer. We found out in Dec. 2007. Her daughter took her to a lawyer Jan. 2008 and had a new will made out. She died Feb 26,2009.

Had I not spoke to a friend of my daughter who happened to be a lawyer my lawyer would have missed the deadline to at least get me 1/3 rd.

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"Her daughter took her to a lawyer Jan. 2008 and had a new will made out."

I gather the unspoken here is that you were left out of the will but didn't know that until after she died? (If by chance she was legally incompetent over a year before her death, one would presume you'd address that and the validity of any document she signed while incompetent.)

"Had I not spoke to a friend of my daughter who happened to be a lawyer my lawyer would have missed the deadline to at least get me 1/3 rd."

And you'd have had a legal malpractice action against him if he'd missed the deadline.

In the end, I'm afraid it is what it is, esp. if this estate has been closed/addressed.

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The lawyer I hired told me 6 months in, that he had never delt with probate. I told him I wanted to file a debt claim against the estate to at least re-coop what I had spent on the property. He told me I would never get a judge to grant the claim. We finaly went to court October 2009 for the first timeand the judge dismissed my claim because my lawyer didn't file it within the 8 month period. I had cancelled checks and receipts well over $200,000 between motgage down payment , mortgage payments and remodeling cost.

My home was 2,800 sq ft. fully remodled, 22 acres of land with a fish pond and my steph daughter just sold it for $198,000. The house sold in June and I have been told nothing by my lawyer, other than they are working on it. The estate has not been closed and the house was sold over 2 months ago.

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