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David Kennett
David Kennett, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years practicing attorney
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This is for michigan, my father died in 2005, his spouse (my

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This is for michigan, my father died in 2005, his spouse (my step mother) just passed. Do I have any claim to estate along with step sister, and half brother and sister?
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Did your father have a will and was an estate opened after he passed away?
Do you know if your step mother had a will and if you were included?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I do not know, our relationship has been strained. We did not have a good one. I was not mentioned in the obit so my guess would be no. I just wonder if I have any claim to part of the estate. When my father was sick I made three trips to MI. I had been recently widowed at the time (two years) at his request. I did not feel it was apropiate to bring up such matters when I went to see him. I am now retired law enforcement. I hope you can help me. It is the principal of the thing. She was a mean person. Her daughter is stingy just like her. I am sure they do not know that I know about her passing? Is this worth persuing?
Dear JACUSTOMER - Without knowing if your father had a will or whether there was an estate opened after he died I can't answer specifically so I will do my best to explain the situation and then if you can obtain more information I can expand on my answer. If your father had a will and didn't include you then you would have no claim to the estate of your step mother unless she had a will and named you as a beneficiary which I doubt based on your facts. So the only way you can inherit is if your father died without a will and nothing was done with respect to his estate. If that was the case you would be entitled to somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of your father's estate which would be divided with your step mother. So then when your step mother died her estate would not include whatever you should have received from your father. If there were no titled assets such as real estate and every thing your father owned was just his personal items then it probably has been too long to be able to identify or retrieve anything from that property. If he owned real estate and it was never transferred out of his name then you definitely would have an interest in that real estate and the family will not be able to transfer it without your signature. The first thing you need to do is to contact the probate court in the county where your father resided at the time of his death and ask if an estate was ever opened after he passed away. If it was it will be a matter of public record and you can read the will and you can see how his assets were distributed. If no estate was opened then there's a good chance you may be able to make a claim as to his property.You will have no right to inherit from your stepmother but you would from your father.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Mr. David, thank you for your advice. I guess on Monday I will call Jackson county probate and check on the status of his estate back in 2005. If there was no transfer of assets on the property. You have given me a place to start. I hope it works out. You have been very kind and provide a great service. I feel very confident in your answer as you have a great deal of experience. I shall rate you high. Is there any other tips you can give me before we close this? If it is meant to be it is meant to be. Respectfully, XXXXX XXXXX Chief of police (Ret).
If there was an estate you then need to ask if there was a will and get a copy of the will. also you should obtain a copy of the final accounting for the estate. If there was no estate then you need to check the real estate records in the county to see if your father is on the deed to any real estate. If he is and it was not owned with survivorship then you would have an interest in the real estate. Then you would have the right to actually open an estate for your father and claim a share of his property. All of this can get quite complicated so if you find he owned real estate and there was never an estate opened you may want to consider contacting a Michigan attorney for assistance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you again, Mr. David. This service has been extremely beneficial. I would use this service again, and recommend it. Good luck to you.
Thanks for using our service and best of luck to you - Dave
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