What are a child’s rights to their mother’s estate?

UPDATED: Mar 6, 2012

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What are a child’s rights to their mother’s estate?

My mother had a condo in one state and property in another, all in her name only (neither community property states). She passed away 3 years ago without a Will. However, her husband took everything. I’m wondering what kind of lawyer do I need to talk to about getting our rights in this situation (meaning my siblings and I). She also had a life insurance policy which was $40,000.

Asked on March 6, 2012 under Estate Planning, Maryland


Cedulie Laumann / Arden Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The laws of intestate succession dictate who gets what when someone dies without a will.   One needs to open up an estate to deal with the property and distribution issues.   Most of the time (though not always) life insurance proceeds do not pass through someone's estate and instead go directly to a named beneficiary.  

Is any real estate in Maryland?   if so, you may want to start by contacting a Maryland attorney who does estate work / estate administration.   My firm does such matters in this state or you could contact another attorney of your choosing.    In some cases you may need to involve attorneys in more than one state when real estate is located in different areas.   Basically though the process starts by looking at title to the property, filing a petition and opening up an estate. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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