Q: My stepmother wants me to sign a paper to relinquish my rights to my father's estate.
My dad passed away a couple of years ago she contacted me yesterday to sign a paper to relinquish my rights to his estate. The will has not been probated I asked to see a copy of the will and a suicide note and she has not replied what are my rights and can I represent myself put a complaint in with the courts in his jurisdiction for the judge to make her show the will
A: Do not sign. Hire a probate lawyer who practices in the county in which your father lived and died to require production of the Will or, if there is none, file an Application for Determination of Heirship and Appointment of Independent Administrator. If the Will gives your stepmother more than she is entitled to under the heirship laws, she will cough it up. Her refusal to present it indicates that it probably gives her even less.
A: I would definitely not recommend signing anything until you speak with a probate attorney. Most probate attorneys will offer free 30 minute or 1 hour consultations. You don't want to sign anything until you know exactly what you may be entitled to and potentially relinquishing your rights to.
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