What to do if my mother recently passed away but I was not notified and just found out last week?

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What to do if my mother recently passed away but I was not notified and just found out last week?

She had a POA, who kept all info from me. And I just found out yesterday that they removed all my mom’s personal possessions (like my grandma’s china, my mom’s nick-nacs, furniture, etc.) with help from her sister who lives in another state (I’ve seen her 1x in 8 years). All items are to be sold and money given to her sister to pay for the burial of the ashes out od state, which my mom did not want. I am her only child and am frantic on what to do. I don’t want her things sold before I know what they are. My sister says that I have no say in my mother’s remains or property saying they are giving her condo and car to the bank. What can I do to assert authority here?

Asked on August 5, 2013 under Estate Planning, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation.  If you are the only living child and your mother died with out cutting you out in a Will, then you are the one who inherits the estate.  The POA is no longer in effect (it died with Mom) and you have to go and be appointed as the Personal Representative of her estate. Once appointed you can stop the sale and all those others getting involved. Get help.  Good luck.


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