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Hello, my father died in March of 2009. His wife is still living.

Customer Question
My sister and I (his...
Hello, my father died in March of 2009. His wife is still living. My sister and I (his only children) never heard anything about anything that he might have left us, so I assume he did not leave us anything. However, I am wondering if my sister and I are intitled to a child's part if he did not specify that he left anything to us in his will. I have not seen a will, but I am sure he had one.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Estate Law
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Answered in 11 minutes by:
6/16/2010
Estate Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 8 years ago
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,805
Experience: JD, MBA
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Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

If your father had no will, then you are entitled to a third of his estate, your sister is entitled to a third, and your step mom is entitled to a third. See SEC. 91-1-7, SEC. 91-1-3, and SEC. 91-1-11 located HERE. However, if your father had a will, then his property would be distributed per the terms of the will, even if he specifically disinherited you and your sister.

If I were you, I’d check with the probate court that would have jurisdiction over your father’s estate (it would be the court in the area where he resided) to see if a will was ever filed. If not, then you can open probate and argue that you are entitled to your portion (as is your sister). Your step mom may then come forward with a will, or she may have nothing to dispute your claim.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.

If the information that I provided is helpful, then please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time. Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.

TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,805
Experience: JD, MBA
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

How do I go about "opening probate" if there is no record of a will at the probate court. Do I need to contact an attorney for this?

 

Also, when I go to the probate court to look at the will, will I be able to obtain a copy of it, or will they only let me view it?

 

Also, can I have this mailed to me vs. physically going to get it?

Estate Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 8 years ago
Hi again. Retaining an attorney would certainly be the easiest way to handle this situation, though it certainly wouldn't be the cheapest way. You can probably do it by yourself unless your father's estate was complicated. The court clerk will have the necessary forms used to open probate.

The court clerk can make a copy of the will for you (if a will was filed). Unfortunately, you'll likely need to visit the clerk in person. I don't know of a court that will copy files and mail them.

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.
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