If my father recently passed and his wife moved out 6 months ago but I lived there with my sister and Dad, do we have any rights?

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If my father recently passed and his wife moved out 6 months ago but I lived there with my sister and Dad, do we have any rights?

I went to pick up my stuff and his wife called the police. She then changed the locks. We don’t know anything about a Will or probate. I just asked if I could at least take over his truck and she said she wants it. Do we, the children, have any say so in this? We don’t even know if she will give us his ashes.

Asked on April 24, 2012 under Estate Planning, Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry form your loss and for the problems.  If yor dad and his wife were still married at the time of his death with out any kind of legal separation agreement that would have addressed the issues, then she is still considered to be his wife and entitled to what the law will allow.  Now, any assets that they held jointly will pass to her automatically upon his death.  You did not say who owned the house, if it was bought during the marriage, etc.  Any assets that are not jointly held will be part of his estate and distributed either according to his Will or if there was no Will, the intestacy statute in the state. You could share under either. I think that you are going to need some help here sorting things out.  Good luck.


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