Can my deceased partner’s brother remove me from the house my partner left to me

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Can my deceased partner’s brother remove me from the house my partner left to me

My Partner of many years recently passed away. His brother, the main beneficiary of my partner’s estate, is questioning the will that leaves me the house my partner and I shared and is trying to remove me from the house and take possession of it. The will also distributes a number of cash or property gifts to others including a considerable CD left to me.

Asked on March 17, 2019 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

First, please accept our sympathy for your loss.
As to your question: if the will is valid and leaves the house to you, he cannot remove you from it or deprive you of anything else the will leaves you. He does have a legal right to bring a challenge to the will in court; if he can show in court, with evidence and by a "preponderance of the evidence" (more likely than not) that--
* the will not signed or witnessed properly; or
* your partner was not mentally competent when he created the will; or
* you coerced or tricked/defrauded your partner into making the will
--then he may be able to have the will vacated (nullified). If he can nullify the will, you do not inherit, since a non-spouse only inherits if left something in a will. 
The measures you can take to defend yourself start with hiring an attorney who can review the will and its circumstances of how it was drafted and signed, and advise you as to any potential risks or weaknesses; who can respond to any legal filings by the brother; and if the brother ties to do anything illegal or outside the law, bring the appropriate legal action to stop it.
 


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