Q: My father’s widow is stating he left no will and she’s not speaking to any of his family. What can I do?
My father married 1 month before he passed from cancer in OH. He was heavily medicated in the last few months of his life. The girlfriend has stated he left no will and refuses to speak with anyone in the family about his estate by saying that’s between her and her husband. I’m his child from a previous marriage and I suspect she changed his beneficiaries on his insurance but no one will speak to me since I’m not his “spouse”. Her name isn’t on his house, he bought it before they met. I’m not sure what rights I have or what I can do because everyone keeps telling me I’m not his spouse and there’s not much to be done.
A: Instead of listening to what "everyone" says, or his new wife, or asking on-line, use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local probate attorney who can consider all the facts of the situation and advise you and your family about your options. Maybe the new wife exerted "undue influence," or did other things that you can discuss with an attorney in more detail. Maybe there isn't much that you can do now. But unless an attorney reviews the details with you, you'll never know. And the longer you wait, the less likely you can stop her from taking certain actions.
A: Aside from saying that "you need an attorney," depending on your father's county, you may have a mechanism to get access to information with very little burden and without opening probate. This is an age-old issue and the faster you move the better.
A: You have rights as his child. You will have a some claim on all probate assets. The amount of the claim depends on your Dads martial status and how many children your Dad has at the time of his death.
You should immediately find a probate attorney to protect your rights
Mary Ellen Leslie Esq. agrees with this answer
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.