What can be done after my remarried fater died with no will? 4 Answers as of March 03, 2011

My father recently passed away. He was remarried. His current wife is being very "selfish" with his belongings. She has already indicated she may sell items. My sister and I would like to know our rights to those items since we really don't want them to be sold for her financial benefit, but rather want the items for their sentimental value.

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Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
First, my condolences for your loss. Second, if there was no Will left by your Dad, then he died "Intestate" which simply means without a Will. In such a case, you and your sister together have an equal right to you father's belongings and estate. If those items your stepmother is talking about selling is part of what he left behind, then you have a right to protect them. I strongly suggest you see a local estate lawyer who knows what he/she is doing and who has experience with legal controversy so they are not intimidated if your stepmother chooses to fight you over things. Then you should file a Petition for an Administration to bring the Surrogates Court into the mix and the Surrogate will then appoint an Adminstrator for your Dad's estate to oversee everything and make sure nothing gets sold or given away that is part of his estate. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/3/2011
Arnold & Wadsworth
Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
You would need to initiate probate. But depending on the state a lot of things or property pass on to the spouse. What you need to look at is what property is only in his name and use probate to try and get some of the items you want.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 3/1/2011
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