Am I entitled to any of my mothers property or assets?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Am I entitled to any of my mothers property or assets?

My mother passed away over 1 1/2 years ago. She was still married to my father. My sister and I are her only children. She passed away with $90,000 and 2 homes. My father has spent all the money and is wanting to sign the houses over to his new girlfriend. What I need to know is do me and my sister have any rights to the property. If so, what do we need to do? I know nothing about this stuff so I do not know where to start.

Asked on August 31, 2017 under Estate Planning, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If she had a will, the assets should have gone to whomever the will indicated they would go--which would likely be your father, but she could have had them go to you and sister instead.
If there was no will, then subject to the below, in your state (according to the rules for "intestate succession"), your father would have received 1/3rd the value of her real estate, the first $60,000 of her non-real estate assets, and 1/3 of her non-real estate assets in excess and $60,000; you and your sister would receive the balance.
Any real estate owned joinly with your father would not be part of her estate, but rather would automatically become his as the surviving joint owner or "tenant."
Any bank accounts owned jointly with him would similarly automatically become his; or any bank accounts solely in her name, but which were "pay on death" (POD) or "transfer on death" (TOD) to him, who automatically go to him on her death.
So it may be that he received everything she had anyway, if it was jointly titled or owned beteween the two of you.
If you believe that you were entitled to some of her assets, either per a will or under the rules or intestate succession, contact a probate attorney to find out how to seek your share. The same lawyer should be able to represent you and your sister, letting you share the cost(s).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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