What actions do I need to take in settling my mom’s estate if she died 2 years ago without a Will?

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What actions do I need to take in settling my mom’s estate if she died 2 years ago without a Will?

She lived with my stepfather for only 3 years. He claimed that he had started a secession in order to distribute her estate fairly. However, as time went by he began to avoid answering any questions I had concerning the status of the session. About 4 months ago, I contacted the Clerk of Courts office where she had lived/died in. They said that there was no record of a secession ever being started in her name. I even had them double check and run her maiden name and they were sure that there was no secession.

Asked on December 17, 2014 under Estate Planning, Louisiana

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the issues that have arisen since your Mother's passing. Louisiana's laws are complicated and you should consult an attorney as soon as you can.  You can apply to be the personal representative of your Mother's estate by filing a Petition with the probate court. Your step father will be notified of your intent to be appointed and he can challenge it to be appointed himself as her spouse.  But getting the ball rolling is really what you want. Understand that the probate court will have to make a determination as to what is considered community property and what is considered separate property when looking at Mom's assets.  After that determnation is made the intestacy statute in Louisiana will govern distribution.  Good luck.


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