Dallas, TX asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Utah

Q: I lost my step dad a month ago and 1 of 3 daughter's took everything. There was no Wil. How can I get my sharej

He married my mom about 25 years ago and they divorced. He never adopted us girls but was are father. My sister took everything. He always insisted there was a Wil and it disappeared. How can I get my share and how is it legal she can take it all. Its so unfair cause me and my father was the closest and just cause she was living with him ahe assumes its all hers. Me and my family are devastated for our loss but now more importantly we don't know how to fight this. He was a very smart man and was very smart financially and I always was told he would take care of me if he ever passed. My sister is so crooked and I just feel if I am entitled to nothing then she should be as well. I am financially struggling and need to find out if there is anything I can do. I live in utah and so did he which is where he passed away. I just need to know how to start a probate and if there is some where I can go to get it started. Thank you

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth Prigmore
Kenneth Prigmore
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Spanish Fork, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: You are legally considered someone's descendant if they were your birth parent or they adopted you. If you are not a descendant, you can only inherit if they leave behind something stating that you are the intended heir. If your sister is the only living descendant of your stepfather, and there is no will or other writing stating who gets something, then it is very possible that only your sister will inherit everything.

If he wanted to leave you something without a will, there are still other options. He could make you the payee on his bank account when he died. He could make you the primary beneficiary on his life insurance or on his retirement savings. He could put your name on the deed to his house. He could even sign a document he wanted to be recorded giving you title or ownership to a vehicle or other property. He could also leave you something in a bank box.

If you want to research how probate works, you can find more info here: https://www.utcourts.gov/howto/informalprobate/

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