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Any US lawyers out there who could give advice about wills and beneficiaries?

(2 Posts)
nigelslaterfan Thu 30-Jul-15 16:21:37

My British father died in the USA two years ago and his wife, my stepmother, died a year ago. He had lived there for many years and there will left everything to whoever died first and after that their will said the beneficiaries would share equally whatever was left.

She had three children in the USA and he has four children in the UK and they all have children.

She died before she 'funded' that will. So we (the UK kids) have just had a vague letter saying because of this, everything passed solely to us (my step mother's children) and that maybe the might be able to give us something but implied it would be inconvenient and would have to pass through their own bank accounts and may incur tax and trouble etc etc.

Then we had another letter from one of them saying they fully intended to pass on some to us but the estate was as yet unsold etc.

I know we have no legal rights but I wish we had some right to information. My father felt he was leaving us one seventh each of their joint estate. I don't even know if I'll get one seventh of anything because in the three years since he died I've been told nothing about what was left except that the house is being sold privately and hasn't sold.

Is there any information that I am free to ask for from anyone? Can I find out what my father left my stepmother? Is any part of her estate ever going to be public knowledge? I just feel like a shuck and that maybe we should push for information. My instinct is though, that we may have a moral case but clearly no legal one.

I just wondered if this is uncommon. And if people who are named as beneficiaries in 'unfunded' wills are ever advised they should do x or y that I might have thought of.

As it stands I just assume that they will give us something or nothing out of some sense of obligation perhaps but they neither have to give us anything or even are likely to give us anything.

Any advice would be appreciated.

nigelslaterfan Sat 01-Aug-15 00:02:34


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