Q: My father recently passed and has a living wife. Can she give me items such as tools before probate?
There was no will and my fathers spouse lives in the house with all his stuff.
A: Can she? Most likely, yes. And that will somewhat depend on if probate is necessary. Will she? That's a conversation best had with her.
The death of a loved one, and more specifically, the disposition of their estate, tends to either build or divide families. If you have a good relationship, I would suggest communicating with her and help her through this. It would also be helpful to communicate exactly what items you would like; in times of stress, particularly if there is not already a foundation of trust, that sort of conversation can be perceived as "I want to come in a take whatever I want" if you are not careful.
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