Can my dad legally direct in his Will that money frommy share of his estate be deductedfor property that he previously gifted to me?

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Can my dad legally direct in his Will that money frommy share of his estate be deductedfor property that he previously gifted to me?

In 1977, my dad gift deeded 5 acres to me and my husband to build a house on. The land was valued at $1000 total. Last year, he put in his Will that the current value of the land, $23,800, is to be deducted from our share of his estate. Had we known that he was going to do that, we would have insisted on paying $1000 for the land in 1977. The gift deed that my dad signed states “…we do hereby bind ourselves…executors…to warrant and forever defend all and singular the said premises unto the said grantees…against every person whomsoever lawfully claiming or to claim the same or any part”.

Asked on December 28, 2010 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This is something that you should discuss with an attorney in the area and with your Father.  If he gifted the land to you then I would think that the value of the land at the time of gift should be the value used, but I can also see his point in deducting the present value from the present value of the remainder of his estate being bequeathed.  But in answer to your question: it is his Last Will and Testament and he can do whatever he wishes in it.  It is up to the Personal Representative to administer his estate as he requested.  You can contest the Will but if there is a no contest clause then you risk losing everything.  Good luck to you.


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