If my father was still legally married to my mother at the time of his death but lived with his mistress for decades, what legal grounds does my mother have to his estate?

He was married to my mother for 65 years; he lived with his mistress for 55 years. My father owned the house he lived with his girlfriend; 4 months prior to his passing he added her name to the deed on the house. Note, the house my mother lives in was also owned by my father and mother. His girlfriend has a copy if the Will but won’t give us a copy. This is in a community property state.

Asked on February 3, 2013 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

Victor Waid / Law Office of Victor Waid

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Have your mother obtain probate litigation counsel to assist her in bringing  this matter to probate court to be sorted out and to force the livein girlfriend to produce the will into court. Your mother may have a significant inheritance right to be protected. Further, you should also join with your mother for a claim as an heir on the basis you may be a pretermitted heir and part of the estate belongs to you, regardless of the livein girlfriend.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.