What to do if children are being denied their rightful inheritance?

My wife’s ex-husband died suddenly with no Will. He has 2 minor children who live with their mother. His brothers have moved into the house and started disposing of property with no regard for his children. What can be done to get them out of the property and how can his kids get what is rightfully theirs?

Asked on December 27, 2010 under Estate Planning, Indiana


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  What has to happen is that someone has to go to the Court to request being appointed as the Personal Representative of the Estate of your Wife's Ex Husband as soon as possible.  Even your Wife can make the application.  If she is challenged then that is fine but at least someone will be appointed to protect the estate assets and the children.  She should also go and request being appointed ads their legal guardian (even though she already is she needs it established in Court now since she is the only surviving parent: I am assuming that she and her ex shared guradianship of the kids prior to his death).  Once a personal representative is appointed he or she will have great power under the law to deal with his brothers and their deeds.  His children should be the only heirs to his estate.  Once children are born all other "heirs at law" are cut off.  Good luck.

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