Who owns the property after my brother passed away? 6 Answers as of April 21, 2011

My brother passed away from a heart attack two weeks ago. His wife left him 3 years ago, started a new life and had another baby, they had 2 children together, now that he passed away she shows up with a lawyer in hand and wants the titles to the 2 homes he owed to the cars and even wants his clothes and shoes. My mom lives in my brother's home, can she take everything that belonged to him legally? Or do we have a fighting chance to keep the homes and the vehicles within our family? Please advice.

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Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
This question is difficult to answer without all of the facts. For instance, was your brother divorced? Are the two children minors? Your mother may have homestead rights. You need to seek a lawyer immediately!
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 4/21/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Unfortunately, you did not mention whether your brother left a Will or not. If no Will was left, his estate will be divided by the laws of Intestacy in the state in which he resided. If his wife did not divorce him, then she may well have a claim to much of his estate, along with his children. If they were divorced, that would be a different situation. I strongly suggest you speak with an experienced estate attorney right away in order to give him/her more information and get more clarity about the future. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/21/2011
Law Office of Richard B. Kell
Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
Your brother's wife will be entitled to her "spousal share" of his estate, and his home and vehicles will probably have to be sold or title transferred during the probate process. This could have been prevented if your brother had obtained a Divorce and executed a Will. Why didn't he?
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 4/20/2011
Apple Law Firm PLLC
Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
Assuming they were still married, she and he had no children from outside the marriage, she is entitled to everything. The home is treated a little differently and it depends on how the home and other property were titled. A homestead not in her name would pass to his children, but she would be entitled to a life estate or 50% at her choice.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 4/20/2011
Owings Law Firm
Owings Law Firm | Tammy B. Gattis
She gets nothing. His kids and mom will split things under AR law unless there is a will/trust. You should definitely fight this.
Answer Applies to: Arkansas
Replied: 4/20/2011
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