Can a statement of wishes override a Will?.

My mom has a Will dated 9 years ago; my brother produced a statement of wishes from 16 years ago. In the Will personal thing in house go to children, the statement states hr things ar to be sold and that the be money given to grandchildren. He says the statement of wishes is the controlling document, which means that I cannot have one single memory of my mom’s. She told me and her sister she wanted me to have household items.

Asked on July 22, 2014 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The Will controls in this case. It is the legally recognized manner of distibution of a deceased's assets. This is true whether or not the statement of wishes was written before or after the Will was executed. Based on the limited facts presented, the children look to inherit the house and personal effects.

To be certain of your rights, you should consult at this time with a probate attorney in your area. He can review both documents for their validity, etc.

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