What do I do regarding my late father’s inheritance?

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What do I do regarding my late father’s inheritance?

My grandmother recently died. She was my deceased father’s mother. My mother attended the reading of the Will along with my father’s siblings, my aunt and uncle. The estate is to be divided between my aunt, my uncle and my father, per stirpes. No one has talked to me at all. My uncle took her car. What

should I do?

Asked on May 6, 2018 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You write that the estate was left to your aunt, uncle, and father "per stirpes." Per stirpes ordinarily means that if one of the heirs (your father) predeceases (dies before) the person they are inheriting from (your grandmother), then the heirs of the person who passed away (e.g. your mother and/or you) will inherit their share. So except in the circumstance described below, you and/or your mother should have inherited; you may wish to retain a probate attorney to help you challange the distribution of the estate, since except as below, you would appear to have a valid challenge when it was a per stirpes distribution.
The exception would be if the will specifically stated that if somone passed away first, their heirs would not inherit, that is legal--such a provision wold be inconsistent with "per stirpes" distribution, but it could be simply a not-well-drafted or -written will. So if there is some provision or term in the will denying an inheritance to your father's heirs, then you and/or your  mother would not inherit.


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