What are my 7 year old’s rights if her father passed away last month?

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What are my 7 year old’s rights if her father passed away last month?

He had been living with his mother out of state for the last 6 months; I live with our daughter. His mother is refusing to respond to us with matters regarding his death certificate for use with friend of the court. She is also refusing to let us have his social security numbers for other legal masters regarding our daughter. I was also wondering if my daughter had legal right to some of his things, like the toys he bit her and kept at his house and some of his clothing, things like that. I am trying to find out how I can do all of this when his mother is in physical possession of everything at the moment.

Asked on June 11, 2013 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your daughter's loss. This is going to be a difficult thing for you to do long distance and so I would strongly suggest that you speak with an attorney that lives in the area that her father lived (resided) at the time of his death.  If he left no Will then legally your daughter is his only living relative entitled to inherit under his estate (if he has other children then they also would be entitled).  His Mother is not his beneficiary.  But it may be difficult to determine what was legally his if she is being difficult here.  You may first want to try hiring an attorney in your area to write a letter to her.  But what may need to happen is that you have to act on behalf of your daughter for her interest in his estate (as her Mother and Natural Guardian). Good luck.


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