Questions Answered by James W. Martens

Q: My dad just recently died. I'm fourteen and my step mother is keeping all my dad's stuff. What do I do?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for North Dakota on
Answered on May 8, 2018
James W. Martens' answer
Presuming your dad died without a will and both of his parents are also deceased, your stepmother would be entitled to the first $150,000, plus half of any balance (i.e., anything remaining above the initial $150,000) of his estate. Not knowing more about the valuations of his property at the time of his death, whether property he owned was owned jointly with your stepmother, and other factors, it is difficult to say what rights you or any of his other children may have.

Often where...

Q: Hi I inherited some land in Williams North Dakota for my father who passed away 2010 my stepmother and my four other Orc

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for North Dakota on
Answered on May 8, 2018
James W. Martens' answer
Not knowing more details it is difficult to say. If you were to contact me and provide more details, I could probably give you a better answer or provide the assistance you need to give you the results you are after.

Q: My father died 25 years ago without a will. I need to probate his estate now. Are newspaper notices still needed?

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for North Dakota on
Answered on May 8, 2018
James W. Martens' answer
An informal intestate administration may be possible, but I would want to know more informaton before giving you a definitive answer. I would hire an attorney to make sure it's done properly. As a title examiner, I can't tell you the number of times I've come across estates that were improperly administered and required reopening to cure the title defect. I regularly assist clients in your position and would be happy to discuss the matter with you and potentially help you out if you wanted...

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