Next of kin

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Next of kin

My ex-husband died last week without a Will or insurance. We had a son, now 46. He has another son by another wife who is 35. The other son has money, lots of it. He took everything over from moving everything from the apartment and even his old truck, which had a clear title, and parked it at car lot, which is also where he works and he is

married to the owner’s granddaughter. He arranged all the funeral without ever asking my son’s opinion, etc. He just took over everything. My son told him that he wanted his dad’s truck and was told no because they would be responsible to pay all their dad’s bills, etc. This I believe is not true. My son wants to know since he is the oldest and next of kin, if he has the right to have that old truck and how he can get it since it is on private property.

Asked on December 30, 2016 under Estate Planning, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If your ex-husband is still married to the other wife, she would receive 1/2 of what he owned that was not real estate, and 1/4 of the equity of his real estate, while his children would share in everything else. If he was not married at time of death, all his children, regardless of who their mother was, share in the total value of his estate (i.e. share all his money and assets, after paying his final expenses, debts of the estate, any mortgages or auto loans, etc.). 
If one heir (the other son) took more than he is entitled to, your son could file a lawsuit in chancery court (a part or division of county court) to require the other son to return that portion which should go to your son.  A lawsuit is the only way for your son to get his share.
The relative ages of the children and whether one has a lot of money or not is irrelevant: when there is no will, all biological or adopted children are treated the same.  


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