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With Two Sons and a Significant Other, What Would Be Fair in My Will?

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Joe Escalante

Hi Joe,

I have two children who are adults and I want to make a will and leave my home to them to sell and divide the money up into 1/3 for Brian, my oldest son, and 1/3 to my son Eric and to my significant other, 1/3 of the house when it is sold, which I want done as soon as possible when I die. Paul Hahn, my significant other, would like to have the home until he dies and I worry about my sons getting their share of the house being sold. The house is the only equity I have to leave them; besides a retirement account with Arizona. Paul has worked harder than them on keeping the house up, so what would be fair for when I die in my will? I want the boys to receive their share also. I had a son die, Justin, and Paul basically would be getting his share, which is 1/3.

– Patty Vida


Barely Legal Radio w/ Joe Escalante

My advice is to place the home in a living trust. When you pass, the trust will live on just long enough to divide your property according to your wishes. And the house will not be subject to the probate process that the courts govern.

You can do all the things you are talking about with a living trust. Look at LegalZoom’s living trust package.

I’ve helped several people through this after they started the LegalZoom process and most of the time, they didn’t really need my help because it was self-explanatory, they just wanted me around. It’s always great to have an attorney for advice when you need it. Especially since you have some special instructions.

However, you can do this with a will, which is the cheapest route. But it will be subject to a probate process and that takes at least a year. The court basically holds your property until they are sure, in their mind, that your wishes are being granted, and all tax and debt issues are resolved. It’s a pain.

Attorney Joe Escalante answers your legal questions for free on our Facebook page every Tuesday and Friday at 10 a.m. PT.

The advice Joe gives is general; it is solely his opinion and not that of LegalZoom. He is a licensed California Attorney with years of experience; users from other states should take care to review the laws in their own states. LegalZoom is not a law firm. This free service is intended to get you headed in the right direction, not to replace an attorney. This is a public forum. No attorney-client relationship is formed with Joe, or LegalZoom, and the attorney-client privilege does not apply. LegalZoom does not verify, validate, or confirm the advice given by Joe. LegalZoom cannot guarantee the quality, or reliability of any legal advice provide by Joe.


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March 3rd, 2014 at 10:24 am

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