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.
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
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