How do I prevent my stepson from claiming any of my husband’s assects if he dies?

My husband and I agree that his son will have no right to any money, car, house, etct. If he dies, how do I prevent his son from obtaing any of his assects?

Asked on June 11, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You need to do some estate planning, now, before he dies or becomes incapacitated.  Through estate planning your husband can leave instructions on how he wants his property divided.  Many people tend to wait until their parent or loved one has lost mental capacity to sign important documents.  At this point, anything signed will easily be subject to challenge.  If your husband is in good mental health, then you need to talk to an attorney that specializes in estate planning.  Estate planning is more than just writing up a will that says you get everything.  It also involves others types of estate planning like "right of survivorship" for certain pieces of property that will automatically pass to you without the need of a probate.  The main thing is to make a clear inventory of everything that you both own and then sit down with the attorney to come up with a written plan (either through a will or other document) on how he wishes his estate to be divided upon his death.  Texas still recognizes holistic wills (hand-written wills), but they are easily subject to challenge.  If you can work with an attorney, you can save money later by avoiding an ugly probate or the reduction of estate taxes.


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