How do I find out what else my dad had if he passed away without a Will? 8 Answers as of April 09, 2014

He was married to our step- mom. They have no children together. My father just had my brother and I. We recently were served papers for his estate saying she wanted to be the executor of his estate. I went to the hearing and it turns out that the house was in his name only. The judge told her she didn’t fill out the paperwork correctly because she didn't list community, personal property. She just wanted my brother and I taken off. She needed an executor so she could talk to the lenders. They won't talk to her without it. Not sure what to do next.

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Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
Obtain the services of a probate attorney and File your own petition for probate to take possession the personal and real property, since you and your brother were his only heirs; your step mom will be entitled to any community share she earned during the marriage and what she survived to.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/9/2014
Law Office of Jeffrey T. Reed | Jeffrey T. Reed
To answer to first part of your question, you are probably going to have to rely on your step mom to find out what assets he had. You can try to contact any past employer if you think he might have a pension and check with the bank to see if he had any accounts. They may not talk with you unless you are the executor of the estate, so you could also petition the court to be executor if you don?t trust your step mom. If your dad died without a will you have an interest in the house, keep an eye on things if want to protect that interest. You can also use that as leverage with you step mom if you need it. If he had any life insurance check to see who was listed as the beneficiary.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/9/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
I strongly urge you to see a probate lawyer. There will be a question of separate versus community property.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/9/2014
Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
You should consult a probate attorney to review all of the facts and documents and advise you. If you father died without a will then his separate property would be divided between you, your brother and your step-mother. She would be entitled to his half of the community property so it is essential that the property be correctly characterized.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/9/2014
Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
You can file a petition for probate and ask to be the administrator of the estate. If granted, you can take an inventory of his property and gain access to his financial papers. You should consult in person with a local probate attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/8/2014
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    Without a will, your stepmother cannot be appointed the executor of your father's estate. You and your brother may file your own petition for probate to become the co-administrators of the estate. If you decide to let your step-mother continue, make sure you file a Request for Special Notice, so that you will receive all documents filed in this matter. If the property was only in your father's name, you and your brother have a 2/3 interest in the property and your stepmother has a 1/3 interest. Contact a probate attorney to answer any further questions you may have.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/8/2014
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    First, since your father died without a will, the intestacy laws will control as to who receives what from his estate. Second, as the probate court is requiring, what property is owned has to be listed, including all personal property and real property, and once that property is listed, it also needs to be determined what of that property is community property and what is separate property as the intestacy statutes distributes community and separate property differently. How the house was acquired and how owned and if it was prior to the marriage to the step-mother or during marriage will affect whether and how much of the house is community property and what may be separate property. Generally in California both the surviving spouse and the children of the deceased inherit the a percentage of deceased's community and separate property under the intestacy laws, but what is inherited is also subject to any liens on the property at the time of death. It is the responsibility of the executor to locate and list all real and personal property in the petition for probate as well as in the inventory which also has to be filed. You may wish to consult with an experienced probate attorney to protect your rights to your father's property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/8/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Hire your own attorney to protect your interests. It is going to be very complicated depending upon whether the house and other assets were owned before the marriage and the length of the marriage. Any separate property you and your brother have 2/3 of an interest in. Get an attorney to protect that.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/8/2014
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