If my wife’s mother leaves 100% of her assets to my wife, am I the beneficiary if my wife dies first?

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If my wife’s mother leaves 100% of her assets to my wife, am I the beneficiary if my wife dies first?

My wife is named as executor, with me as backup, with full discretion over the assets. My wife is very il, and may likely die before her mother dies. My wife has one sister, a schizophrenic, who has been hospitalized all her adult life. Her mother has a brother. Am I, as husband, the beneficiary at that point?

Asked on August 20, 2014 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You are doing a little estate planning which is a great thing.  But you need to speak with an attorney here because if the Will is not written with certain provisions in it as to your wife inheriting, then no, the money will not come to you and the sister and/or the brother could contest it and most likely win. You would not inherit under intestacy as you are not a blood relative so you can not make that assumption even if there is a Will.  Good luck with everything. 


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