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David Kennett
David Kennett, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years practicing attorney
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If my Mom didnt have a will but left a witnessed statement

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If my Mom didn't have a will but left a witnessed statement leaving all to me, BUT, this is my stepmom & she has a daughter who was estranged for years, will I have problems ( the house deed is still in my mom & dads name...he passed years ago...& I was his only child
Dear JACUSTOMER - I'm not certain from your facts exactly what format the witnessed statement was in but if it was signed by your step mom and witnessed by two other persons you can claim that it meets the criteria of a will in NY state. If the court will approve this statement as a will then you can inherit the estate or the house or whatever the will says you get. If you cannot get the statement confirmed by the court to be a legal will then you would have no right to inherit under the laws of intestate succession which apply if there is no will. Only blood relatives or legally adopted children can inherit under the intestate succession laws so you need to submit the written statement as a will and ask that it be approved by the court. At the very minimum it needs to be sign by your step mom in front of two adult witnesses.
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