My mother just past away this week with out a will, but I know what she told me.

Now my step dad and sister tell me I get nothing. What are my options

Asked on April 29, 2017 under Estate Planning, Alaska


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you mother died without a Wiil, then as one of her children you are an heir which means that you have a right to share in her estate. Exactly how much depends on specific state law but typically it's something along the lines of 1/2-1/3 to the surviving spouse and the remainder to the children of the deceased to be split equally. That having been said, assets are only distributed after all estate debts have been paid, so possibly there is nothing left over. Further, life insurance proceeds, IRA's, 401k's, etc. are paid directly to the listed beneficiaries and do not become part of  person's estate. Therefore, if you mother had any these type assets and you were not a named benfeciary, then again you would not be entitled to any of this money. If you feel that none of this applies and your inheritance is being kept from you, then consult directly with a local probate attorney or contact the county probate court. 

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