The Moneyist: ‘I have no guilt’: My stepfather will leave me his $1 million home. How do I protect my inheritance from his two biological children?

by | Oct 5, 2022 | Stock Market

Dear Quentin, My mother passed away four years ago and my stepfather is now in poor health. While he has two biological children, he has been estranged from them for decades. Most of his assets have been left by naming beneficiaries or right of survivorship. His will addresses leaving a mineral trust to his two blood children, and leaving his home, worth approximately $1 million, to me.

This man has been my father for almost 40 years. I have no guilt in accepting the home he and my mother built to keep it in the family. I believe he is firmly legally covered in how he is leaving his estate. Does it make sense to leave the home to me in his will, which will be probated, or if there is a better option that will avoid excessive taxes and government involvement? He is a resident of Wyoming, and I am a resident of Texas. Thank you. The StepdaughterDear Stepdaughter, The best part about your letter is that you are all on the same page, and that doesn’t happen too often around these parts. Your No. 1 priority is to ensure your inheritance is secure, and not vulnerable to being contested by your stepsiblings. Avoiding probate does several things: It provides an easier, more timely and less expensive transfer of assets, and bypasses the probate court, which would involve valuing the house and myriad paperwork. Probate is a public process — something that your stepsiblings would, in theory, have a …

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