Is it legal for my dad’s wife to be giving away his things when he has a Will and isn’t dead yet?

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2010

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Is it legal for my dad’s wife to be giving away his things when he has a Will and isn’t dead yet?

I was away from home for 2 years and when I returned home I found out that my dad was put into a nursing home with dementia. His wife claimed bankruptcy with his home and belongings. A couple of years ago he told me he had to redo the Will because of his wife but that his new Will specifies what my brother and I get when he dies. So far his wife has given his truck to her mother and 3 shotguns to my brother. My father is not competent enough to talk to me anymore and his wife always hated me. My brother has been her best friend to get those shot guns from her &nd whatever else he can get.

Asked on July 14, 2010 under Estate Planning, Washington


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for the position that you are in.  If you believe that your stepmother is "dissipating" the assets of your Father's estate then you need to be appointed as Conservator of your Father and his Estate and take charge of the situation.  However, that is not as easy as it sounds, especially in the situation when he has a Wife that is still alive.  The law gives spouses great leeway in most situations and does not assume that they are acting in bad faith. And if during his competent years he made a Will that merges what you think is his separate property in to marital property then you may be out of luck here.  Go and see an attorney in your area but bring the Will if you can. Good luck. 

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