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Spousal Rights

When your spouse dies, you can be overwhelmed with both the emotional and the practical matters that need to be addressed. If on top of all of that, you find that the will or trust isn’t as you had expected it can feel like it’s all too much to handle. Alternatively, you may be dealing with step-children who believe that their inheritance has been impacted by your influence on their deceased parent and they’ve initiated legal action.

As a spouse, there are laws that protect your interests in this challenging time and Daniel Leahy is the attorney who can help you decide what to do next. However, don’t delay, there are often deadlines. Dan’s practice includes resolving disputes among beneficiaries and fiduciaries. Often this requires litigation and Dan has the experience and skills to help you. Dan regularly appears in Bay Area probate courts and handles matters through trial.

Contact Daniel Leahy today at (510) 985-4151 or with our contact form to schedule your free consultation. Read more about our legal fee options and the possibility of contingency fees so that you don’t have any upfront costs.

Learn more below about spousal rights and your options.

As a spouse you typically have California laws protecting your inheritance rights. These are usually quite straightforward if the marriage was the first for both spouses. When the deceased spouse had children from one or more prior marriages the situation can become more complex.

Fortunately, as of January 1, 2020, California Assembly Bill 327 explicitly exempts “at-death transfers between spouses by will, revocable trust, beneficiary form, or other instrument from the above-described provisions and any presumptions of undue influence arising from those provisions.” In plain English, this law negated a recent case that had assumed undue influence by a (second) spouse. Also effective January 1, 2020, is AB 328 which did maintain that presumption of undue influence if a spouse was recently a paid caregiver prior to being married to the now-deceased spouse.

The best way to find out how to manage any challenging situations involved with your spouse’s estate is to contact Oakland Probate and Trust litigation attorney, Daniel Leahy for your complimentary consultation as soon as possible. Time is of the essence as there are usually deadlines in these cases.

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