What to do if I just out that my late mother left me the house we lived in, as well as the majority of it’s contents?

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What to do if I just out that my late mother left me the house we lived in, as well as the majority of it’s contents?

She committed suicide 16 years ago. I do not remember my father discussing any of this with me at the time. He has since re-married and has cut off all communication with myself and my half-brother from my mom’s first marriage (per his new wife’s request). I live on a very small income from my SSDI due to my epilepsy that was diagnosed 13 years ago. My wife has been having trouble finding secure employment as well. And as much as I have wanted to shut the door and never talk to him ever again, when I found this out, it burned inside because of how indifferent and callous he’s been to me about my situation.

Asked on October 22, 2013 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

 

I am so sorry for all of this.  It is a bit difficult to understand the chain of title on the home or how you came to find out that the home was left to you.  Did your Mother own the home prior to the marriage to your Father?  Was there a Will?  Oral bequests are not generally upheld. Generally speaking, if assets are jointly held - as between husband and wife especially - they pass automatically one to the other at the time of death.  But if this home was never your Fathers in title and there was a Will I would seek help from an attorney even at this late date to help sort through what happened.  If there was a probate and the Will was not presented then there could give rise to a cause of action against the Personal Representative if they lied about things.  But you need a lot of proof her and the Will.  Good luck. 

 


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