What to do if my husband is an only child and his father jusy dies without a Will?

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What to do if my husband is an only child and his father jusy dies without a Will?

His stepmother died quite a few years ago; no Will for her either. A strip of land is being bought to build a museum. His stepmother’s family wants half of the proceeds. Does he have to split this? It was bought in the early 1950’s. Also, my husband was adopted.

Asked on April 6, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

Steven Fromm / Steven J Fromm & Associates, P.C.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your husband need to retain an estates attorney and do so quickly.  He needs to peition the court to be named as administrator and needs legal counsel to assist in this and in the estate administration.

For a sense of what is involved in administering an estate in most states, please see the following two articles:  Estate & Probate Administration: Do Not Try This On Your Own at http://www.sjfpc.com/page1.html  and Pennsylvania Probate & Estate Administration: Executor Duties at http://www.sjfpc.com/pennsylvania_probate_estate__administration_duties_of_executor_and_administrator.html

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for his loss.  First, being adopted in Texas does not matter here.  He will inherit as if he were a biological child.  Now, how the asset was held when his stepmother passed is the key here snce she pre deceased him.  If it was held jointly with rights of survivorship then it passed to him automatically upon her death.  That means that it passes through the intestacy statutes to his heirs at law upon his death if there is no Will saying otherwise.  Please seek legal help.  This is going to be a battle.  Good luck.


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