Q: My father died, and he was married. His wife says she hasn't found a will yet. what should I do for me and my sister?
My father just died. He was married. There is me and my sister. He just had retired from intel, and had several amount of money in stocks and bonds, and money saved up. Plus my step mother and him had just purchased a house worth about $750,000. I would like to know where all his money will be going to and also my step mother has given my sister my fathers truck. Which was about $50,000 and hasn't given me anything. I don't think this is fair, and I also think my dad did make a will and I am struggling with her saying she can't find the will...Where could a person put a will? I also think i need to hire an attorney over this because we are talking serious amounts of money. He just retired from Intel lived in Oregon, and just barely retired two months ago. I have a lot of questions and concerns about what I should do as his youngest child. I only have one sister, and we have a step mother. I want to make sure everything is split fairly. He lived up in camas, WA for 2 mo?
A: I am sorry to hear of your father's passing. My condolences. You mentioned your father lived in Oregon and purchased a house there. Unless your father owned property in Utah, then you are going to be dealing with Estate and Probate law in Oregon. Each state can have very different laws regarding heirs. In Utah, if there is no will, the spouse will inherit everything, except when the children came from a prior marriage. In that case, the step mother would be allowed to claim a portion (the amount is clearly defined by statute) and the remainder would go to the children of the first marriage.
I can't tell you what the Oregon laws say. It may be very similar, but sometimes states have very different ideas. You would do well to talk to an Oregon Estate Planning and Probate attorney.
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