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Can step brother contest will

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Joehill

New member
My girlfriends step dad died about two years agowithout a will so everything went to his wife, my girlfriends mom. Her step brother didn't like it but didn't contest it. Then her mother died 6 months ago with a will leaving everything in a trust with my girlfriend as executor. Her step brother still didn't like it but didn't contest. Now a few days ago my girlfriend died so we reverted back to her mom's will which left her daughter exector if something happened to my girlfriend. Now the step brother is back demanding he gets what he wants or he will get the estate in probate, can he do that?
 


Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
My girlfriends step dad died about two years agowithout a will so everything went to his wife, my girlfriends mom. Her step brother didn't like it but didn't contest it. Then her mother died 6 months ago with a will leaving everything in a trust with my girlfriend as executor. Her step brother still didn't like it but didn't contest. Now a few days ago my girlfriend died so we reverted back to her mom's will which left her daughter exector if something happened to my girlfriend. Now the step brother is back demanding he gets what he wants or he will get the estate in probate, can he do that?
Why does it matter to you? You have NO legal dog in this fight.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
My girlfriends step dad died about two years agowithout a will so everything went to his wife, my girlfriends mom. Her step brother didn't like it but didn't contest it. Then her mother died 6 months ago with a will leaving everything in a trust with my girlfriend as executor. Her step brother still didn't like it but didn't contest. Now a few days ago my girlfriend died so we reverted back to her mom's will which left her daughter exector if something happened to my girlfriend. Now the step brother is back demanding he gets what he wants or he will get the estate in probate, can he do that?
By "her daughter" do you mean your girlfriend's daughter? If so, is she a minor? Are you her father?

What state is this?
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
My girlfriends step dad died about two years agowithout a will so everything went to his wife, my girlfriends mom. Her step brother didn't like it but didn't contest it. Then her mother died 6 months ago with a will leaving everything in a trust with my girlfriend as executor. Her step brother still didn't like it but didn't contest. Now a few days ago my girlfriend died so we reverted back to her mom's will which left her daughter exector if something happened to my girlfriend. Now the step brother is back demanding he gets what he wants or he will get the estate in probate, can he do that?
Who was the beneficiary of the trust? I understand that your girlfriend was the trustee (rather than executor, she was executor of her mother's estate, and trustee of the trust).

You should not be reverting back to her mom's will. Her mom's estate was finished when the assets went into the trust. You should be referring to the trust to determine who is now the beneficiary and trustee. The stepbrother can get "the" estate in probate all he wants, but there is nothing in the mother's estate anymore and he has no standing to challenge his stepsister's estate, or the trust.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
You should not be reverting back to her mom's will. Her mom's estate was finished when the assets went into the trust. You should be referring to the trust to determine who is now the beneficiary and trustee. The stepbrother can get "the" estate in probate all he wants, but there is nothing in the mother's estate anymore and he has no standing to challenge his stepsister's estate, or the trust.
I am not saying this is incorrect, but I am saying that it's based on a ton of information that has simply not been provided. Not only is the OP not a legal party to the matter, but he's also obviously uniformed as to the actual matters that have transpired.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
My girlfriends step dad died about two years agowithout a will so everything went to his wife, my girlfriends mom. Her step brother didn't like it but didn't contest it. Then her mother died 6 months ago with a will leaving everything in a trust with my girlfriend as executor. Her step brother still didn't like it but didn't contest. Now a few days ago my girlfriend died so we reverted back to her mom's will which left her daughter exector if something happened to my girlfriend. Now the step brother is back demanding he gets what he wants or he will get the estate in probate, can he do that?
My condolences on the death of your girlfriend.

You did not specify the state, and that matters because state law determines the rules for probate.

That said, I have two general observations. First, I assume her step-brother is not the child of her mother (hence being a step brother rather than half brother). If that is correct then the step brother would lack standing to contest his step-mother's will unless there was a prior will in which he was named as a beneficiary. That's because the result of contesting a will is that the will gets tossed with the result that distribution of the estate goes either by intestate succession (the rules that apply when there is no will) or by a prior valid will. In order to have standing, he has to show that if he succeeds in the will challenge he'd get something. And he only gets something if he has a valid prior will to fall back upon.

Second, since her mother died months ago and her will evidently left her estate to a trust, that is what will have to be done. Your girlfriend's recent death does not change that. That's because the rights to distribution of her mother's estate were fixed based upon who was living at the time her mother died.

Certainly, though, if your girlfriend was the executor of her mother's estate then a new executor is needed. And if she was trustee of the trust then a new trustee of that trust will be needed as well.
 

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