What can I do to get my inheritance from my stepmother?

UPDATED: Nov 3, 2014

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What can I do to get my inheritance from my stepmother?

My father past away from cancer 2 years ago. He and my mother divorced when I was 5. He re-married and was widowed at 61 and married again to the woman he was married to when he passed. He had 2 children, 1 of whom passed 25 yrs ago. I am the only living child. He knew he was not doing well and he talked to me about his funeral and his Will. He told me he wanted me to be the executor and where the Will would be when he passed. He had me lock it in a desk drawer and he showed me where the keys would be. After he died I went to get the Will but my stepmother informed me everything was moved and that he had no Will so everything was hers. I found a handwritten Will it was used but she continues to sell and give away all.

Asked on November 3, 2014 under Estate Planning, Maryland


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You are writing from the state of Maryland, correct?  Maryland does not allow handwritten (also called holographic) Wills to be admitted to probate.  So if you can not find the original typed document or a copy (copies can be admitted) then the estate passes via the intestacy statute.  What you need to do is be appointed as the Personal Representative ASAP if you think you can find the Will (check his lawyer) or that she is selling assets that are part of Dad's estate alone and not joint property.  It is called "dissipating" the estate. Seek legal help asap.  Good luck.

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