Avon, CT asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Maine

Q: Estate issue with two parents (Dad/Stepmom) who died without wills.

Our father died without a will in 2012. His home in Frankfort Maine went to his wife, our stepmom, the surviving widow.

It seems that she, and her family never got the property legally put into her name. She died this past fall, also without a will, and her children are having trouble getting the property into their name.

They have been told that since both died without a will that technically the property is split 50/50 between both estates.

Her stepchildren are asking that we (myself, my sister, and brother) sign over any interest we have in the property.

All 3 of us biological children from my Dad's first marriage have no trouble with relinquishing any interest in the property. We actually already thought that had taken place when the property went to our Stepmom.

Our sole concern is that we are protected against any legal and financial responsibilities in relation to the property and any issues with assigning the property over to her children.

1 Lawyer Answer
Daniel J. Eccher
Daniel J. Eccher
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Winthrop, ME
  • Licensed in Maine

A: Assuming everything you have written above is correct, then I do not see any conflict. You all seem to be in agreement that the property should go to your step-mother's children. The only concern I would have is if you or your siblings do not understand whatever document you are asked to sign. If so, you should have a Maine-licensed attorney review it with you. If it is legitimate and effective, then once you have signed it, you should not have any further "legal or financial responsibilities in relation to the property."

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