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Felix.mandy

Who receives the inheritance

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Hi there, I’m in need of a little bit of advice. My paternal grandmother is in a nursing house and on hospice. My father recently took his life in the beginning of the year. In her will she wrote that her 2 sons would spilt her inheritance evenly once she passed. And if anything happened to one of the sons their half would be split amongst their wives and if one of the wives passed it is passed to their children. This will was written while my parents were still married. They divorced last year. I guess I was just curious in the will, will my mother still receive the inheritance because she is written in it or because they divorced my dads half will all go to me? Thank you for your help and I’ll try to go into more depth if need be!

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1 hour ago, Felix.mandy said:

will my mother still receive the inheritance because she is written in it

 

Depends on how she is written in it. If by name, probably. If by designation "wife," probably not since she is no longer wife.

 

It would also help to know what state.

 

And if your grandmother is mentally competent even now.

 

 

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So it's too late for your grandmother to update her will.

 

You are going to have to have the will and your parents' divorce decree reviewed by a probate attorney. Here's why.

 

Colorado statute 15-11-802, in part:

 
 

Quote

 

(1) An individual who is divorced from the decedent or whose marriage to the decedent has been annulled is not a surviving spouse...

(2) For purposes of parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 of this article, and of section 15-12-203, a surviving spouse does not include:

(c) An individual who was a party to a valid proceeding concluded by an order purporting to terminate all marital property rights.

 

 

https://law.justia.com/codes/colorado/2017/title-15/colorado-probate-code/article-11/part-8/section-15-11-802/

 

In the Matter of the Estate of Hutchins the Colorado Court of Appeals denied a divorced woman an elective share of her former husband's estate because her divorce decree was "an order purporting to terminate all marital property rights" so she was not a "surviving spouse" per the statute.

 

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=298270641257195004&q=15-11-802&hl=en&as_sdt=4,6

 

However, what complicates your issue is that your mother is mentioned by name, albeit with the designation "wife" (assuming you are quoting the will word for word).

 

Christensen v. Sabad involves the beneficiary of a life insurance policy who was divorced from the decedent at the time of his death. The Colorado Supreme Court found 3 things that I think might bear on your issue.

 

1 - That particular property division agreement did not extinguish her expectancy as beneficiary. Whether your mother's decree does that has yet to be determined.

 

2 - "Section 15-11-802 in no way limits a testator's authority to bequeath property to a person by name, whether that person is a former spouse or not. "

 

3 - I think this is the most important of the 3. "The term "wife" following identification by a given name does not bar a former spouse from receiving insurance proceeds."

 

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=4404860725986706044&q=15-11-802&hl=en&as_sdt=4,6

 

I believe that #3 would allow your mother to claim her share of the inheritance unless her divorce decree specified otherwise.

 

But I am not a Colorado probate attorney. I'm just a guy on the internet who likes to read appellate case decisions. :)

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15 hours ago, Felix.mandy said:

In her will she wrote that her 2 sons would spilt her inheritance evenly once she passed. And if anything happened to one of the sons their half would be split amongst their wives and if one of the wives passed it is passed to their children.

 

I sure hope it's written nothing like this sentence because this sentence is horribly ambiguous.  Can you quote the exact language of the will (with actual names being omitted or changed)?

 

 

15 hours ago, Felix.mandy said:

I guess I was just curious in the will, will my mother still receive the inheritance because she is written in it or because they divorced my dads half will all go to me?

 

Depends on the actual language of the will and the laws of your grandmother's unidentified state of residence.  Trying to interpret your summary of the will's language would be pointless.

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