How do you handle an intestate death with minor children living with an ex-wife in another state?

A man died and has 2 minor children living with a divorced wife out of state.The grandparent is trying to exercise control of the assets, valued at less than $100,000, no real property. Per the girlfriend, the wishes of the man were that everything should go to his children, but who has the power to assure this happens? What type of paperwork needs to be filed, and by whom and in which state? Ex-wife already filed something in Idaho and was denied to gain control of the estate. Minor children should be next of kin but how is this assured?

Asked on July 30, 2012 under Estate Planning, Idaho


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. Idaho may have a statutory requirement as to who can be appointed as the personal representative but generally speaking, it is a person in the closest familial relationship.  The grandparent (his parents) here may be the ones but given their interest, one could object and ask that they be appointed instead.  The person appointed as the PR of the estate would insure that the funds go to the children, which under intestacy is probably the case. They could be placed in a trust.  Legal help is needed.  Good luck.

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