Glouster, OH asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Ohio

Q: My dad passed away and my step mom and step siblings took everything and left me and my brother (his biological children

My stepmom is terminally ill, has treated me and my brother poorly our whole life, has been transferring my dads items into their names over the years. My dad committed suicide and it’s still under investigation, not sure if he really did it, my stepsister and boyfriend found him. Cops didn’t even check their hands for fun powder residue. What can me and my brother do legally if my dad had no will.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: If your dad had no will, then you stand very good share of inheriting a portion of his estate. You should hire a local probate attorney to help you assert your right of inheritance.

Andrew Popp
Andrew Popp
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Ravenna, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: This is potentially more complex than you think. If they were married and he agreed to put items in her name, there is likely nothing you can do about those assets. If there are other assets which need to be distributed pursuant to a beneficiary designation or survivorship clause, you have a couple things to consider. (1) Ohio's slayer statute, 2105.19 prohibits certain people from benefiting from the death of another if they were involved. As such, the criminal case may have a direct impact on what transpires.

Was your father ever found mentally incompetent?

Since your father had no will, his probate assets will be distributed in accordance with Ohio's rules of descent and distribution. (O.R.C. 2105.06). This will tell you how assets will be divided. Overall, it sounds like you may benefit from retaining legal counsel to represent you.

Best of luck.

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