If both biological parents pass away at the same time with 2 separate and conflicting Wills, which will is in force?

UPDATED: Nov 27, 2012

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If both biological parents pass away at the same time with 2 separate and conflicting Wills, which will is in force?

I have just learned my mother’s Will names me as the sole beneficiary of the estate and my father’s Will leaves the bulk of the estate to their church with me receiving only token items. My parents enjoy overall good health; I cannot imagine losing both parents in a single event; however, my recent discovery of their different intentions does have me beginning to investigate what possible additional hurt I might have to endure if fate were to be especially cruel.

Asked on November 27, 2012 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


Victor Waid / Law Office of Victor Waid

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If all property was acquired during marriage, then the property is community property, and each person may will their respective one half share of the property to whomever they desire. Therefore, if your father dies first his share would be subject to a claim of the church; of course the reverse of this applies to your mother when she deceases, where in you would have a claim on her share. I advise you to get your parents to an estate planning attorney who can assist you in having your mother put her share of the community property into a trust in which she can assert her claim of community property, as I can see litigation coming in the future; as to your father, he should do the same and seek the advice of an estate planning attorney, different from your mother, as their is an apparent conflict between you parents. One of the ways your father could protect your mother is grant a life estate in his share of the community property to your mother, so as not to disturb her physical possession, should he die first, and still carry out his wish to the church as far as distribution as to his share of the community property. Don't delay, as you never know what tomorrow will bring.

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