What rights do his children have to their father’s estate?

UPDATED: Aug 21, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Aug 21, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What rights do his children have to their father’s estate?

My dad passed away 2 months ago. He had a wife still living and 6 children all still living. My step-mom and my 2 half brothers that lived with my dad refuse to give his other children anything. I don’t know if there was a Will or not. What rights do all his other children have to his estate and what should we do next?

Asked on August 21, 2011 Indiana


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 problems that have resulted.  First, we need to determine if your Father had a Will or not or if he dies Intestate - without a Will.  If he dies with a Will then the Will governs the distribution of the estate. If the Will is probated then it is filed in the probate court in the county in which your Father resided at the time of his death.  The Will is a public record once it is filed and you can take a look at it.  You should also receive notification of it being offered for probate as a child of the decedent.  Now, if he died without a Will then you need to determine which assets would be part of his estate for probate. Assets held jointly with his wife passed to her by operation of law when he died so they are not considered part of his estate.  If there are other assets then they have to go through an Administration - probate without a Will - in the probate court and you should again receive notice.  You can look at that file too.  What you do depends on what the situation is but I would consider hiring an attorney to write a letter on behalf of the 4 other children.  Just to see what becomes of things.  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 lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption