Dear Quentin,

My grandparents have an estate valued at over $2 million. My grandfather passed away and my grandmother is not in the greatest of health. They had three daughters, my mom being the oldest. My mom passed away in 1989, and only the two sisters are left. The middle sister is the executor of the will. 

I have had an on-and-off relationship with that side of the family, but we are on speaking terms now. Am I entitled to a third of the estate that would have gone to my mother had she been alive? The entire family lives in Alabama, and I live in Washington state. It’s been so long since I have been to Alabama, I am not sure what the laws of inheritance are currently.  

Can you shed some light on this matter? I am not trying to be greedy, but if my mom was entitled to that money, I feel like she would have wanted me to have it.

Grandson

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com, and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Dear Grandson,

If your grandmother died intestate, meaning without a will, you would likely be in line to inherit a portion of her estate given that your mother has passed on.  

There are two possible outcomes. According to Fortenberry Law Group in Mobile, Ala., “If a person dies with three living children, each child would get one-third. If one of the three children had died but left descendants (that is, grandchildren of the decedent), those descendants would share in the deceased child’s one-third.”

However, you say there is a will. That being the case, you are entitled to exactly what your grandmother wishes you to have — no more and no less. She could leave you one-third (or less) of her $2 million estate given that your mother has passed on, or she could divide her estate 50/50 between her two remaining children.

Grandparents can, as this column recently outlined, be unpredictable — which makes them no different from any other family member. Clearly, you would have had a better chance of being included in the will if you had a strong, consistent relationship with your grandmother. 

You have two options: Ask her outright and risk her suspecting that you are only interested in her millions, or wait and see how the chips fall.

By emailing your questions, you agree to having them published anonymously on MarketWatch. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions of it, in all media and platforms, including via third parties.

Check out the Moneyist private Facebook group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

The Moneyist regrets he cannot reply to questions individually.

More from Quentin Fottrell:





Source link

×