OT. how do "Wills" work?

my MiL is having issues with her Will, as in, not knowing wth she is doing, or who to trust. she is a real nice lady, and i like to help her out. but i know squat about Will’s.

so, can the knowledge base here give guidance and advice ?

there is not much assets, just the house she is living in, wholly owned, $150g maybe.

my SiL is the executor and perhaps not trustworthy.



Have your significant other talk to a lawyer and then maybe check her competency…Have you guys seen the WILL ?? An executor has to follow the WILL so she cant xhange anything or take house for herself …Im not sure you can do much since its only yiur mother in law so thats why I say get your Significant Other to take the reigns and help her/him


we have not seen it, and not sure we ever will. like i say, idk how these things go. are we supposed to get a copy ?

what does tthe exxecutor really do ?


To my knowledge every state has their own probate laws. To transfer title/deed to the home and assets, I am fairly certain it will have to filed with a court and become a public record.


you know, i had not even thought about this on the state level


I can share with you only from my own experience with my parents’ wills. Which state you live in also bears some significance. A simple explanation of the responsibilities of an executor/executrix:

“An executor (or executrix ) of an estate is an individual appointed to administer the estate of a deceased person. The executor’s main duty is to carry out the instructions to manage the affairs and wishes of the deceased person’s estate.Sep 18, 2020”

Depending on the will, this can be an easy or exceedingly difficult task. The executor gets paid a fee for their work so may as well keep it in the family. Depending on the state the fee could be say 6% of the estate’s worth. My father chose my older sister to execute his will. My mother chose both my sister and I to be co-executors.

If you can afford some legal advice it wouldn’t hurt but I would start using your google skills to learn a thing or two so you have a grasp on the situation.

Here’s one example about homes. If the house is not shared with other persons on the title/deed then when the owner dies it goes to whomever she wills it to and it will have to go through a probate court to transfer titleship. Game Changer is right. My mom had her RE Attorney draw up her will so he’s the one we had to pay to handle all the court and legal documents. It was expensive, long drawn out and a big pita. If our mother had added our names to the deed the house would have simply been ours after her passing. No probate court, no lawyers, no lawyers fees. If your family can convince your MIL to do that it will save the family a lot of headaches. She did add our names on her bank account and investments as joint account holders. We just had to go to the bank and sit there while they transferred her money to us and drew up new paperwork.

There are ways to avoid lawyers and I recommend it whenever you can. It took about 9 months for my mom’s house to pass through probate because the courts were busy and so were the lawyers. Her estate was small and not on their top priority list. In other words, they weren’t making any money off of us. Like I said, try to avoid lawyers and courts where possible.


My dad put his house straight into my sister’s name to avoid all of it, when he passes (his forbid, he’s still young). Won’t even have to take him off.

Also avoids sticky tax situations, if they arise. He set that up, many years before he was audited. Once they saw the house had been in her name, from the start, they left it alone.


That’s great. In my state there’s something called Joint Tenancy:

Joint Tenancy

Like Tenancy in Common, Joint Tenancy is for situation where there is more than one owner. Unlike Tenancy in Common, however, the ownership of the property in a Joint Tenancy must be divided equally. Also unlike the Tenancy in Common, when one party of a Joint Tenancy dies, their part of the property goes to the remaining tenant(s). A probate hearing is not necessary for this.

Joint Tenancy is a good idea for sale in which the property will have more than one owner and:

  1. All owners wish to have equal parts of the property and/or
  2. All owners wish to leave their ownership to their co-owners upon their death.

Thaanx ! this is goingg just how i had hoped = i am being enlightened to things i had no idea about.

gettting my wife, BiL & SiL on the title, basicly easy, yet incredibly difficult = my MiL is happy go lucky, so she doesn’t want to deal with this stuff. so she is more likely to believe those she shouldn’t and take the easy way out. which, will make it much more difficult for those that truely care for her.


Do you think if they explain to her the situation she might be more inclined to make matters easier for her children? It’s not complex to add their names to the deed and it saves them money and headaches down the line. Maybe google how to add family members to your deed (in your state). Maybe just her witnessed signature by a notary public is all that’s required. They are all over the place. My bank has them for free if your a customer. Not expensive anyway.


@jinx_d There are downsides to adding family members to your deed. If one of them goes into bankruptcy, causes harm or death to others in a car accident, gets divorced or other financial trouble, their creditors can take your property.

ETA: However, I believe some states have laws that prohibit or protect you from this.


well, she would want things to be easier. but she is like my wife = a hard head.
so i really don’t know how that would go, probably depends on how she is feeling at that moment.

here is an example of the “hard head”. my MiL is from France, came here in the 50’s. she inherited some land in France, good chance she has not seen this land in 40-50 years. anyway, someone, presumably a realtor, contacted her to sell this property. they made her an offer and she blindly took it. what the offer was, idk, i still can’t get an answer. my money says she got $.10 on the dollar, if even that. … i gaave her good advice to have the property independently appraised. i even tried to get the property address to google it. nope, they both wanted to remain utterly ignorant = hard heads .


I see. Well…I know your intentions are good but sometimes you just have to let go to keep your own sanity. Other people’s issues can easily become your own and take you down with them. You can only do your best, say you tried, then get off the sinking ship if that’s their decision. At least you walk away knowing you tried.


i think my state, il, is one of those.


Calling it a night. Sweet dreams, jinx. Keep us posted if need be.


yeah. but, when all this all goes down, i am going to be right in the middle of it.
i have to think for, and stick up for, my wife. or else she will get screwed(maybe). and then i will never hear the end of it.


Use a will for the personal items he/she would like to distribute. Have a trust set up to distribute the more expensive item’s like the house, and large distributions like life insurance, CD’s, and cash. It will cost a little to maintain a trust but it advoids probate. The grantee’s will receive the property tax free and capital gains when they sell the property sets the property value at today’s rates rather than what the grantor paid for the property. Forms can be downloaded from the internet and filed on line to avoid the lawyers.


very VERY interesting. “but”, the Hard Head thing.

ok. with a trust, after she passes, how are things distributed ?


A trust is very specific. Distribution gets distributed at the same time as the will. The trust distribution is very specific. It will state what the grantor wants. The house will be distributed at time of death. If stated that way. It will avoid all probate when it goes through the courts.
There is all kinds of information on it on the net. What it will cost in your state the grantor resides. How to setup the trust. What it does and what it doesn’t do. Look it up and do a little research. It’s a pretty good tax advoidance legal paper.


well. i just told my wife about the Trust thing. guess what i got … an eear full of Hard Head. “thinks” she knows, but does not.