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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 19499
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Hello, My name is Anna and I have recently gone through a

Customer Question

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have recently gone through a dramatic change with my family and house. In September 2009 my mother passed away from cancer after only being diagnosed 3 months before. I am a only child and my mother got remarried when I was 11 to a man named Kriss. ( My father passed away when I was 8) When I was 11 Kriss adopted me as his daughter. I am now 21 and finishing up the last two years of college.

After my mother past away in September my step father decided he wanted to sell the house and move back to England where he lived until met my mother. He sold our house, our two cars and has packed up and moved to England taking all the money with him.

The problem is my mom never had a Will and had to make one quickly with a lawyer when she became sick. She ended up signing the Will the day she went into hospice, which she signed when she was very sick and on a lot of morphine. She in fact signed the wrong day on the will because she didn't know what day it was. The Will states that my step father was to look after the "estate" and I got my mother's jewelery and clothes.

My question to you is do I have a case to contest about whether I should have gotten half the money from the estate to help aid my education and living?

Thank you for your time, Anna - MA USA
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. I encourage you to ask me for clarification, if you are not clear with my Answer.


Did your stepfather probate your mother's Will?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
what does probate mean? It sounds familar.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 6 years ago.
This is where your mother's Will would be presented to the Probate and Family Court for approval--for validation.

Edited by AttorneyPhillips on 1/2/2011 at 6:19 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I believe the lawyer that my mother and step father used took care of that after she signed it since we couldn't have that last week since we stayed with her untill she died. Is there anyway for me to check to see if it was? I do know that the will has a seal on it if that means anything
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 6 years ago.


The probate process only happens after the Testator of the Will dies. The probate process is where the Will is presented to the Court for validation and all interested parties notified and given the opportunity to either contest or not contest the Will. If the Will has been probated and you did not contest the Will at that time, then you cannot go after your stepfather now for taking what belonged to you because you have missed your opportunity to object to the Will.


You can contact the attorney who drafted the Will to see if your mother's Will was probated. You can also contact the Probate and Family Court in the County where your mother lived or where the house was to see if the estate was probated.


Here is a link to all the Probate and Family Courts in Massachusetts:


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks so much for time. I'll definatly follow that up. I did not go to court to review the will. Thank you.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 6 years ago.
You are quite Welcome!