What are our rights if our dad passed away 9 years ago but since then my stepmother has sold everything he owned and gave the money to her kids?

UPDATED: Feb 15, 2015

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What are our rights if our dad passed away 9 years ago but since then my stepmother has sold everything he owned and gave the money to her kids?

My stepmom had 2 kids and my dad had 3 and had legal guardianship over my cousin. My sister and I have recently just found out that all his stuff is gone. The house is in both of their names but all the vehicles were only in his name, along with tons of guns and other things. Do we stand a chance at fighting for anything. As far as we were told there was no Will.

Asked on February 15, 2015 under Estate Planning, Arkansas


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation.  If your Father had no will then his separate property would be subject to probate and distribution to you and your siblings.  Anything that was jointly held with his wife passed to her automatically at the time of his death.  Personal items could indeed be fought for, especially if they pre-dated the marriage.  I would strongly suggest that you speak with an attorney in your area asap.  You may have an issue with what is called the statute of limitations but you may be able to get around it as well. Good luck.

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