What rights to inheritance do children have?

UPDATED: Jan 8, 2012

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What rights to inheritance do children have?

I thought that mother left a Will but we were never notified. There is only my sister and I, plus my stepfather. My stepfather has claimed everything. I was refused even her clothing. Is there anything that I can do? I recently learned that he is ill and not able to take care of him or the house. He is staying with his sister.

Asked on January 8, 2012 under Estate Planning, Florida


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation that has resulted.  If your Mother had a Will then you would inherit as per the Will.  Have you checked with the Probate Court in the county in which she reside at the time of her death?  Just to be sure?  You absolutely would have been notified of any estate proceeding with or with out a Will.  But it is possble that everything your Mother owned was jointly held with her husband.  Then that would mean that it passed automtically to his at the time of her death.  I might seek help from ana ttorney to just write a letter requesting family heirloos or any piece of personal memeorablilia - photo albums, etc. - from your Mom.  Arguably that was her own estate and not jointly held.  Good luck. 

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