What can we do if my father has no will? How? 23 Answers as of June 17, 2015

My father is at the end stage of his battle with cancer and he has no will. he has 2 children myself and my sister. What do we do, he owns a home and has a couple of cds in the bank.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
Without a will or a spouse, his estate is divided equally between his children.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/17/2015
James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
If your father is still legally competent, quickly he should hire an attorney to prepare a living trust and a Will. If it can all be prepared and signed up quickly it will save you all a large amount of expense and stress.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/17/2015
Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
As the owner of real estate at the time of death you or your sister must open a probate. A probate is required to deal with the real estate. Without a will your father's assets are divided evenly between you and your sister (assuming there is no living spouse).
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 6/17/2015
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, if he has testamentary capacity (the ability to understand what he has and what he wants to do in a will), then he can execute a will. If not, then after his death his estate will be "intestate" where it is administered under state rules where there is no will.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 6/17/2015
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
If he is competent have him sign a will. If not, the estate will go through intestate proceedings.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 6/17/2015
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C.
    Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C. | Richard M. Levy
    If your father is still legally competent then he can still sign a will. If he is not the the laws of intestacy will decide who inherits his assets.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    If your father has "testamentary capacity" which means he understands what he owns and who his descendants are, he is competent to make a will and you should have one prepared as soon as possible. You should contact an attorney who will be willing to meet with you and your father and discuss things with him.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    When he passes a probate will need to be opened. Since he has no Will and no spouse, the two of you will be the beneficiaries. I urge you to seek legal assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    You will hire a lawyer to file a petition for probate. Assuming that he is not married and never had other children (or if he has deceased children, they are not survived by any issue), you and your sister will each get half of his estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    Upon death, you will have to open a probate proceeding in order to pass title.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    Before he dies, your father needs to do some estate planning. It would be best to set up a trust and place all assets, including the house and accounts, into the trust. He could name you two as the beneficiaries and successor trustees to take over after he dies. If he doesn?t want to do a trust, he could transfer the house to you now and mark the accounts so that they pass to you upon his death.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    YOu do not have to do anything Michigan law states that if he is not married your siblings are you are his heirs at law and inherit his assets.. Given your description you will probably have to file a probate estate to clear title to the house to sell it though., Albeit the bank accounts may have a payable on death clause and specific named beneficiaries.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    He should form a trust.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    I am sorry about your father. You will need to file a probate to administer his estate as an intestate estate, that means for someone who passes without a will. Contact an attorney who specializes in estate matters.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    If your father wants his estate to go equally to you and your sister, then all will be well, that will be the outcome if he has no will (and if he is not married). So, I would not trouble him about this. If he wants to do a will, contact an attorney do not use online forms, they may not be appropriate for Oregon, and the proper signing and witnessing of a will is crucial.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    If you father is still legally competent, he can still have a will drafted and sign it in front of witnesses and/or a notary (depending on the state's laws). If he's in a hospital or hospice, the social worker can help with this. If he is no longer competent, the state's intestacy laws will determine how his estate is distributed after all debts are paid. The order of beneficiaries is usually: surviving spouse and minor children, adult children, grandchildren, etc. If there are no descendents, the surviving parent(s), then surviving siblings are the next in line.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    If your father dies without a will, he dies intestate. Assuming no spouse, his estate will go to the children in equal shares. Because of the house, his estate will have to be probated.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    Wellerstein Law Group, P.C.
    Wellerstein Law Group, P.C. | Elisha Wellerstein
    Your father should contact an Estate Planning attorney ASAP to either draft a will, or create a draft and avoid the whole probate issue. Look for an attorney that makes home/hospital visits so it will be easier on your father.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    The Krone Law Firm, LLC | Norman B. Krone
    Have him prepare a Will.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    I would suggest you confer with an attorney immediately as long as he is still lucent and capable of contractual capacity. If he is not there is little if anything you can do and the property will have to go to probate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C. | James E. Reed
    Michigan has laws that state where his assets go if he does not have a Will. Essentially, the State makes a Will for him. If there is no surviving spouse and you and your sister are his only children, then State law says his assets are divided equally between the 2 of you. You will need to start a probate proceeding in Probate Court to have a personal representative appointed (either you or your sister, probably) just as you would need to do if there was a Will.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    If he dies without a will, his assets will go to his children. If he is still mentally competent, he could do a will.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/17/2015
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Consult a probate lawyer to represent you in a probate proceeding to obtain the title to the residence and the CDs. Fees are set by state statute in California, and the lawyer is paid at the end of the case; you may be required to advance court costs for the filing of the petition into probate and so forth.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2015
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney