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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29259
Experience:  29 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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I have been separated from my husband for only seven weeks.

Customer Question

I have been separated from my husband for only seven weeks. He was in WA state, and I am in OR.We were in the process of getting a Legal Separation and it would have been final today. He died two days ago, and his two adult children entered the home that is in both of our names and removed everything that was in the home only a couple hours after he was discovered deceased. Is this legal for them to do that? Isn`t it trespassing, illegal entry, and theft for them to do this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good evening.

RayAnswers :

You would have civil remedies here as you have a claim for your share of the marital property.You may need a local lawyer in Oregon to send demand letter to the estate and the others involved personally.If the police will not get involved you are going to need to pursue them through the civil courts.

RayAnswers :

Are you aware of whether he had a will here?

RayAnswers :

If there was no will here then the property passes under the laws of intestacy.You may want to apply to be appointed the personal representative of the estate to protect your legal interests.

RayAnswers :

Law of intestacy.

RayAnswers :

RCW 11.04.015 Descent and distribution of real and personal estate.


The net estate of a person dying intestate, or that portion thereof with respect to which the person shall have died intestate, shall descend subject to the provisions of RCW 11.04.250 and 11.02.070, and shall be distributed as follows:

(1) Share of surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner. The surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner shall receive the following share:

(a) All of the decedent's share of the net community estate; and

(b) One-half of the net separate estate if the intestate is survived by issue; or

(c) Three-quarters of the net separate estate if there is no surviving issue, but the intestate is survived by one or more of his parents, or by one or more of the issue of one or more of his parents; or

(d) All of the net separate estate, if there is no surviving issue nor parent nor issue of parent.

(2) Shares of others than surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner. The share of the net estate not distributable to the surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner, or the entire net estate if there is no surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner, shall descend and be distributed as follows:

(a) To the issue of the intestate; if they are all in the same degree of kinship to the intestate, they shall take equally, or if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degree shall take by representation.

(b) If the intestate not be survived by issue, then to the parent or parents who survive the intestate.

(c) If the intestate not be survived by issue or by either parent, then to those issue of the parent or parents who survive the intestate; if they are all in the same degree of kinship to the intestate, they shall take equally, or, if of unequal degree, then those of more remote degree shall take by representation.

(d) If the intestate not be survived by issue or by either parent, or by any issue of the parent or parents who survive the intestate, then to the grandparent or grandparents who survive the intestate; if both maternal and paternal grandparents survive the intestate, the maternal grandparent or grandparents shall take one-half and the paternal grandparent or grandparents shall take one-half.

(e) If the intestate not be survived by issue or by either parent, or by any issue of the parent or parents or by any grandparent or grandparents, then to those issue of any grandparent or grandparents who survive the intestate; taken as a group, the issue of the maternal grandparent or grandparents shall share equally with the issue of the paternal grandparent or grandparents, also taken as a group; within each such group, all members share equally if they are all in the same degree of kinship to the intestate, or, if some be of unequal degree, then those of more remote degree shall take by representation.



RCW 11.04.035 Kindred of the half blood.


Kindred of the half blood shall inherit the same share which they would have inherited if they had been of the whole blood, unless the inheritance comes to the intestate by descent, devise, or gift from one of his ancestors, or kindred of such ancestor's blood, in which case all those who are not of the blood of such ancestors shall be excluded from such inheritance: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That the words "kindred of such ancestor's blood" and "blood of such ancestors" shall be construed to include any child lawfully adopted by one who is in fact of the blood of such ancestors.


RayAnswers :

So all of the community here--your share and his would be yours under laws of intestacy.

RayAnswers :

And one half of his separate estate.

RayAnswers :

By seeking to be appointed here--making application for probate you would be able to force them to return the items or sue them for the value of them in probate court.

RayAnswers :

You would also be able to secure the premises as well.

RayAnswers :

You can locate a probate lawyer here.

RayAnswers :

Your probate lawyer would seek court ordered return and suit here against the children if necessary for any damages the estate has incurred here.

RayAnswers :

Overall it is critical that you consider your own probate lawyer here to file for probate and seek to be named the personal representative for the estate.Legally as his widow you are entitled to have priority to be appointed.

RayAnswers :

I am so sorry that you are having to go through all of this.I know it can be real overwhelming here.

RayAnswers :

I am sorry you rated me poor service, can you please tell me what follow up you have here that I may try to improve my rating.

RayAnswers :

Please follow up and let me know what questions you may have here as follow up I want to try and help you here.

RayAnswers :

Again I would be happy to follow up with any questions you have here.

RayAnswers :

I do not understand why you keep giving me poor service ratings.I will be happy to answer any follow up you have here.

RayAnswers :

I want to try and help you if possible.

RayAnswers :

Please let me know what I can answer as follow up for you tonight.I appreciate the chance to do so.

Customer:

You didn`t answer the question that I asked. Was what they did illegal in WA state?

RayAnswers :

I would argue that it was.But if the police will not pursue this you have legal rights as the main heir under the laws of intestacy.

RayAnswers :

It is in your interest to file for probate and be appointed personal representative.They cannot legally keep these items as they may be yours as main legal heir.

RayAnswers :

Often the police don't want to get involved and call it a civil dispute.But I agree with you that they have taken your stuff.It is likely community property here and you have rights to it.

RayAnswers :

You would have priority to be appointed the personal representative of the estate.

RayAnswers :

And you can force them through probate court to return the items or the estate sues them if necessary.

RayAnswers :

If your husband had no will as you can see under the laws of intestacy you have rights to most of the property here by law.All of the community and half of his separate property.

RayAnswers :

And you can seek legal fees from the children as well for this wrongful removal.

RayAnswers :

You also are entitled to a small death benefit from social security as well.

RayAnswers :

Also you may be able to get survivor benefits as well.

RayAnswers :

Survivor benefits.

RayAnswers :

It may be possible here for you to get a probate lawyer to take this on contingency fees.

RayAnswers :

I am so sorry that you are having to deal with all of this.

RayAnswers :

But you very well have legal rights to most of not all of the property under the laws of intestacy here.

RayAnswers :

Please do not give up you can get court ordered return of this property.

RayAnswers :

A probate lawyer can help you make application for probate.

RayAnswers :

Let me know if you have more questions, it is not a problem.Thanks for your patience.

RayAnswers :

I would also try to file a written complaint with the police here as well.If you do so they may have to take some action.It cannot hurt to try to pursue that too.

RayAnswers :

As you state it appears it is possibly trespassing and theft, and related crimes.

RayAnswers :

Here is good reference about being appointed the personal representative and court supervised probate(called intestate probate).

RayAnswers :

Intestate--no will.

RayAnswers :

I do appreciate the chance to chat and help you.Ask more questions if you have more follow up.It is never a problem.Thanks again.

Customer:

Since there was no will that I am aware of then probate would be extremely expensive to pursue.

Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29259
Experience: 29 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
Ray and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
I wish you the best here in getting your property and asserting your rights in this matter.Thanks again.

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