What to do about a gift given outside ofa Will?

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What to do about a gift given outside ofa Will?

My father passed away recently and before he did, he signed a piece of paper in front of the lawyer stating that it was his wish that I have his ring. It was not made a part of the Will. I was there when the lawyer stated that and it was not made as an addendium to the Will. Now my stepmother is trying to tell me it is. She wants me to sell the ring

Asked on October 16, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the issues that have arisen with regard to the ring.  I am assuming here that your step mother is the executor of the Will, correct?  It is odd to me that the attorney had your Father execute a separate document indicating his wihes  - or bequeath as it was part of his estate - and NOT make it an addendum (or Codicil as it is more commonly called) to the Will.  Why was it done in front of the attorney?  And really what does the piece of paper amount to under Florida law?  That is what you need to ask the attorney here.  If, however, it does not amount to anything - some evidence of his intent to challenge your step mother - then it is part of his estate and you are not entitled to it.  If she wishes to sell it then you may have to buy it fro the estate.  Please seek legal help from some one that can look at the document.  Good luck. 


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