If my mother passed awaybut did not leave a Will, do my brother and I have any legal rights as heirs?

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If my mother passed awaybut did not leave a Will, do my brother and I have any legal rights as heirs?

My stepfather is keeping everything.

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Estate Planning, Arizona

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you do have legal rights. Pursuant to AZ intestacy laws (i.e. the laws that govern the distribution of an estate when someone dies without a Will), both a surviving spouse and children have the right to inherit.

Specifically, as to both separate property and the 1/2 of community property that belonged to the decedent, they pass to the surviving spouse. If there are surviving issue one or more of whom are not issue of the surviving spouse, 1/2 of the intestate separate property but no interest in the 1/2 of the community property that belonged to the decedent.

At this point you need to speak directly to a probate attorney in your area.

 


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