Who has the rights to a deceased parent’s estate and when do they have them?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Who has the rights to a deceased parent’s estate and when do they have them?

My stepdaughter’s father passed away 2 weeks ago. Her father had a stepsister who immediately came in and started controlling all of matters, such as with drawing money from banking accounts, holding onto all the credit cards and the checkbooks. She has also decided that she wants to sell his house and his 2 cars. Again I need to remind you he has a daughter that is 28 years old and there is no will and also there is no executor or power of attorney. How can the step sister remove money from bank accounts and sell the house and cars if she does not have a legal document stating that she can do this. Is the legal by law? What does the daughter have to do to stop this?

Asked on May 13, 2013 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your step daughter's loss.  Generally speaking, if there is no Will when a person dies then they are said to have died "intestate" and then the intestacy laws in that state will apply.   Now, your question indicates that this is the state of Virginia.  In Virginia if a party dies with children and no spouse the children get all.  I am assuming that parental rights were not terminated here because that would be the only time that rule would not apply.  Now, his daughter needs to go to Probate Court in the County in which her Father resided at the time of his death and apply for an emergency appointment of herself as the Administrator/Personal Representative of his estate.  Once appointed then she can deal with the property and the Aunt who has no rights here it seems.  She may want an attorney to help her.  Good luck.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption