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The Moneyist: After an argument together with his estranged spouse, my accomplice transferred $ 250,000 to a belief for me. He died every week in the past. Can his spouse sue me for the cash?

I was with my significant other for almost 7 years. While he was separated from his wife, they never divorced. It was for financial reasons.

Because of his difficult relationship with his wife, I was made his health care substitute.

Last September he underwent cancer surgery and found that he had not set up anything for me. After recovering, he set up a Totten trust with approximately $ 50,000,000. We live in Florida.

He fell ill in January, had another operation, and was discharged to a rehab hospital on February 12. Two days before he was released, he had an argument with his wife and daughter. He was so mad that he transferred a large amount (more than $ 250,000) to the account he set up for me.

I wasn't aware of this transfer until the beginning of March when he was hospitalized again.

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“I never asked for more or forced his hand in any way. I have not confirmed to the family that I know about the account. "

During this time, I had to make the decisions due to pain and physical problems (he was delirious and considered unable to make health care decisions). They could not diagnose him and he was sent to the hospice where he passed away that week.

During this time, I had to make the decisions due to pain and physical problems (he was delirious and considered unable to make health care decisions). They could not diagnose him and he was sent to the hospice where he passed away that week.

As a result, he never had an opportunity to reconsider or perform the money transfer.

During this time, his wife was vengeful, mean, and petty, and refused to pay for an ambulance to the hospice and refused to provide funeral information to the hospice center. She did a lot of other bad things and made unkind comments to me.

My question is: can she dispute the account by discounting it? Aside from knowing he had an account set up, I never asked for more or forced his hand in any way. I have not confirmed to the family that I know about the account. These funds are only a small part of his estate.

To be honest, I could use the money to replenish the money I spent and of course use it for my own retirement. I also had a lot of additional emotional stress caused by the wife and daughter. Nevertheless, I am still open to the return of the funds that were in his daughter's account.

Girlfriend of 7 years

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Dear balance,

People don't often act rationally when they are grieving. And you all grieve in different ways and maybe for different reasons. Firstly, this sounds like a terrible ordeal and I am sorry that your partner passed away at such a stressful time and that you all went through this. It couldn't have been easy for you or his daughter or estranged wife as they had such bad conditions when he died.

How you met and fell in love. At some point they too believed they would spend the rest of their lives together. It's worth remembering at times like these. It will help you understand the pain she is going through and I hope to forgive her for her behavior. As with all of these actions, they seldom have anything to do with you.

It is always possible for someone to complain if they feel disrespected, dismissed, or disrespected. The success of such a lawsuit is likely to depend on your partner's health development, having suffered delirium during their medical crisis. At the same time, he managed to have some knockout fights with his estranged wife and vice versa so it may or may not be difficult to argue that he has a vulnerable state of mind when they are arguing over so many problems and trying to get them out .

Either way, you seem to approach the issue of trust with some level of equanimity, if not the expense of the funeral and the ambulance. My advice is to do your damnest thing to apply the same spirit of acceptance to all of the above.

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"Apply the same spirit of acceptance to trust as you do to ambulance and funeral costs."

"A Totten trust is essentially a pay on death (POD) name for a bank account and is often used as an alternative to making a will or trust," said Benjamin Trujillo, Senior Adviser at Moneta. “In Florida, a POD is considered an inter vivos (or lifelong) gift, which the probate court will give jurisdiction to if its estate claims the gift is invalid. In this particular case, the deceased's spouse would likely try to claim that the gift was invalid because you "improperly influenced" to receive it. "

“If his spouse is inappropriately influencing this case, he'll claim you manipulated him to make the POD, which he wouldn't have otherwise done himself. If the court agrees, the POD could be reversed, ”he adds.

But Trujillo says there might be some red flags to watch out for. “If his transfer of funds from his daughter's account was improper or illegal, it is likely that those funds will be returned to her account. If for some reason he was authorized to access these funds, you may be able to keep them. As for the other funds, it would be difficult to show undue influence on your part if you were not aware that they were being transferred or that he intended to transfer them. "

He also suggests checking with the bank to see if the account is in your name. “If you speed up this process, you will improve your negotiating position significantly. You should contact a local lawyer to determine your next steps. "

My condolences to you again. Hope you find a way to carry on with all of your fond memories no matter the outcome.

The money is: "I feel un-American": I was broke in my 20s and I live in fear of debt. My wife wants to improve our homes and our lives. What can I do?

You can email The Moneyist at qfottrell@marketwatch.com with any financial or ethical questions.

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