Interpreting a Will

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  #1  
Old 11-19-06, 10:19 PM
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Question Interpreting a Will

A father's will states "to invest capital and pay the net income to my son. On the death of my son, the wife of my son, shall be paid the net income from the invested capital. On her death their daughter shall be paid the capital and any undistributed interest". My Question is, does she have to be married to the son at the time of his death, in order to benefit from this trust?
 
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Old 11-20-06, 04:13 AM
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Just a layman's opinion, but unless she is named "by name", i.e. "my wife's son, Jane Doe", I would say yes, she would have to be married to the son otherwise the term "son's wife" could refer to a second or third marriage/wife" and their daughter could be from a subsequent marriage as well. IMHO it's not very well written, but them again I'm not an attorney.....
 
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Old 11-20-06, 04:44 AM
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Every will I have ever seen before had names, not relationships like this one has. I think this should be rewritten, it's obviously ambiguous.
 
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Old 11-20-06, 10:16 AM
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Post Interpreting a will

Thanks guys for your reply to my question. Sorry I was not more precise in my wording. Your opinions are valued by me, so I am replying with the following clarification. The father's will stated :- to invest and keep invested the sum of $$$$, and to pay the net income derived therefrom to my son (son named here).
On the death of my said son to keep invested the sum of $$$, and the net income therefrom shall be paid to (son's wife named here), the wife of the said (son's name here), for and during the remainder of her lifetime, and on her death the sum of $$$, both capital and undistributed income shall be paid to (daughter named here), the daughter of my said son and (son's wife named here).
The question is, would I be correct to assume from the wording of this will, that if the son's wife divorced him she would not be his wife at the time of his death, and the will would be read as if she had predeceased him? Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 11-20-06, 11:08 AM
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A lawyer would be best to answer, but the way I read it, she's in because she's named - the mention of "wife" is just to help identify her.
 
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Old 11-20-06, 11:11 AM
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Another thought on rereading your posting of the actual language - it says her lifetime, not her marriage. I think she's in regardless of marital status.
 
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Old 11-20-06, 12:33 PM
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Should be clause in there as well about if the daughter dies before the wife.
 
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Old 11-21-06, 04:44 AM
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In my opinion, would be better served trying to set something like this up in a trust rather than a will. If done in a will, probate would be open for YEARS.
 
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Old 11-21-06, 11:07 AM
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My take is that she's in regardless of marital status, but definitely a querstion for a real lawyer.
 
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Old 11-22-06, 04:27 AM
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If the father has passed and this is in probate (or succession) then, assuming you are the administrator or execut(or/rix), have the attorney present to the probate judge AS YOU DESIRE and if he disagrees then he will surely tell you.

The presumption of the father is that the couple is still married at the time of his death. You could try the argument and see if the ex will counter with a challenge. It's not how you, me, an attorney sees the will. It's how the judge will rule. He wont rule in your favor if you don't ask him to.

Not updating a will is an oft overlooked necessity in life.
 
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Old 11-23-06, 12:07 AM
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Thumbs up Interpreting a will (update to last post 11-20-06)

First I want to thank you all for your interest in my question. I asked it for a friend, who is the son, named in the will. It turns out, now that I have actualy seen the will, that it was probated back in 1983 & the father had appointed trustees to administer a trust. In his will he gave instructions to the trustees how he wanted his estate distributed to the beneficaries and that is what you see in my earlier post.
My friend believes that the father expected the wife named in his will, to remain married to his son, untill the son died. He says that the words "On the death of my son" set a time line when she had to be his wife. He thinks that since she divorced him she forfeted her entitlement under the terms of his father's will and therefor their daughter should be the next beneficary. What say you guys?
 
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Old 11-23-06, 06:27 AM
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It's up to a judge's interpretation, but I still say this wording includes the former wife.
 
  #13  
Old 12-06-06, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mitch17 View Post
Every will I have ever seen before had names, not relationships like this one has. I think this should be rewritten, it's obviously ambiguous.
Hmm...indeed.
 
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