Oscoda, MI asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan

Q: My Mother Died in May 9th and my Step-father Died in September 14th before finishing/starting her estate.

Now step-dad's biological child(one of the two he has) is saying us step-kids get nothing because 100% of moms estate goes to spouse(step-dad) and now we are not entitled to his estate as step-children. Is this true? It seems like my moms estate should be settled first which we are heirs of, then my step-dads estate. The current known value of the estate is $200,000+ with credit card debit under $3,000 and all other assets completely paid off. We have yet to find a will and are not sure where to look other then the house, they had no known lawyer. Bio child trying to push us out has had almost no contact with our step-dad for almost 25yrs.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: It sounds like your mom and step-dad had none of their own children. In other words, she had her children (you and your full siblings) and he had his children (the step-children in relation to you). And your mom did not have a will.

In that case, under Michigan law your step-dad should inherit from your mom $100,000 plus 1/2 of the rest (approximately $50,000 based upon the facts you recited). The remainder of approximately $50,000 would be split equally among your mother's children.

Your step-dad's estate (consisting of his separate estate plus what he inherited from your mom) should go all to his children.

If that is not what is happening, then you need to hire a local probate attorney to represent your interests.

Your mother made a huge mistake not having an estate plan.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Jackson, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: That isn't necessarily correct. It would depend on how much your mother's estate was worth.

The surviving spouse gets either the first $100,000.00, or the first $150,000.00, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate, depending on whether your mother and step-dad had biological children together. MCL 700.2102. It would probably be best for you to contact an attorney to help you administer your mother's estate, if that is necessary.

As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to rely on any information you get from internet discussion boards, such as this one.

Kenneth V Zichi agrees with this answer

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