Is my stepmother entitled to my father’s pre-marital property since he died without a Will?

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Is my stepmother entitled to my father’s pre-marital property since he died without a Will?

My father passed away last month. My stepmother assumed she would inherit everything until my siblings and I told her that she would need to file probate paperwork. She is trying to sell

everything quickly and move out of state with her children; she has no plans on dividing my father’s property with me and my 2 siblings. She is also taking highly valuable artwork that my father acquired during his marriage to my mother, who is now deceased. What legal rights do we have to protect my father’s property from my stepmother selling it all?

Asked on June 5, 2016 under Estate Planning, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

When someone dies "intestate", that is without a Will, the distribution of their estate is left up to controlling state law. Typically, it is divided between the surviving spouse (1/3-1/2) and the remainder to the children of the deceased, to be split equally. At this point, you would be well advised to consult directly with a probate attorney in the area ASAP. They can best advise you further.


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