What to do if a stepmother passed away and no Will was found?

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What to do if a stepmother passed away and no Will was found?

Her only heir is an elderly sister who lives out of state. She wises to give the rights of handling the estate to the stepdaughter. What to do to get this done?

Asked on April 27, 2013 under Estate Planning, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The fact of the matter is that when someone dies "intestate" (without a Will) then either a family member, friend, etc. can take over as "Personal Representative" of the estate. A PR is like an executor; they probate the estate with all that it entails (paying debts. distributing assets to the heir(s), etc.). This means that an heir need not also administer the estate. To be appointed as PR, all a person has to do is to make an application to (i.e. petition) the probate the court for appointment. Simply contact the court in question, they can best advise as to how all of this works and the steps to take; googling for einformation online is also possible.


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