Q: My father passed away he was my step father raised me for over 50 years. My siblings are trying to cut me out. Can they?
I have a half sister and my father adopted my nephew so I have an adopted sibling also I was told there is a will that is 30 years old that I am executor of but my adopted sibling has it I have not seen it I know they're going to go through probate and they're not telling the probate lawyer that there is a will what can I do. Am I entitled to anything
A: If the will cannot be found, and if he did not have a surviving spouse, then his estate will be divided among his natural and adopted children, but step children don't share. If the will can be found, and if it nominates you to be executor, and if the will is submitted to the probate court, and the judge appoints you to be the executor, then you are entitled to an executor's fee, plus whatever the will might have left to you specifically. Contact the attorney handling the estate, or use the Find a Lawyer tab to consult a probate attorney in the county where he resided.
A: These "hidden will" cases are very difficult. It is a violation of Ohio law for someone to conceal a Will, but proving they have it is almost impossible. You can try to find the lawyer who drafted the Will. Unless you can find the original Will, this is going to be difficult, and you will probably not be able to force production of the Will without excellent legal representation, which is not cheap. You will need to file to be appointed Administrator of the estate and bring the bad actor in front of the judge, but that is like a trial, and expensive. This is not the type of case where you are likely to be able to get low-cost or free legal services, and no lawyer is going to take this on a contingency fee basis.
Aaron Epling agrees with this answer
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