What to do if my father died 5 months ago and my stepmom did not let us know that my dad didn’t have a Will?

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What to do if my father died 5 months ago and my stepmom did not let us know that my dad didn’t have a Will?

We found out she has been selling and giving his things away. She tried to title a car that was in his name and DMV said she must have our signatures to change anything over. That’s when we found out. What should we do to handle our dad’s affairs before she gets rid of everything? She mislead us and acted like dad had a Will

Asked on August 10, 2014 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

In your state, when there are children and a surviving spouse who is not the children's mother (i.e. a step mother), the children get a share of the estate. You should hire an attorney, who can bring a legal action to get a court order to stop your step mother from disposing of the estate; to get an administrator appointed to distribute the estate properly; and to possibly also sue your step mother to recover the value of anything she has improperly taken, if it is no longer possible for you and your siblings to get the share to which you are entitled.


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