If my husband died without a Will, what information am I legally bound to give his family?

Initially, his only daughter (not my child) said he gave a verbal will to her and we moved forward to divide the items that way within 2 weeks of my husband’s death. Any money that came from his wages I used to pay the mortgage. The daughter verbally agreed to this. I also inherited some land but my husband’s family doesn’t want me to be a part of it. They hired a lawyer that is telling me I have to provide them with bank statements and account for all other items that they didn’t take originally but now also want. Do I have to give them detailed bank statements just because they ask for it in the name of clearing his debt?

Asked on February 19, 2015 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  First, an oral will is valid in Texas but only for personal property, not transfer of real property.  There are also certain statutory requirements and you should reall speak with someone about that. Anything jointly held went straight to you.  If the bank accounts were joint then they are yours too and it sounds as if they are on a fishing expedition.  I would really seek legal help on this asap.  Good luck.


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