my wifes dad passed away and her stepmother took everything property, vehicles, personal property, life insurance. home aquired before there marrige from inheritance. does my wife have any standing to recieve any of her dads things. she was born in pervious marriage 14 years or so before.
This often happens in second marriages if the assets were jointly titled husband and wife property (real estate) or if wife was the joint owner or the POD/TOD beneficiary (bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts).
Even without a will, then, wife would receive all the joint assets or assets for which she was listed as POD or TOD beneficiary.
To avoid this a person in a second marriage has to do some fairly elaborate estate planning in order to have assets ultimately pass to the children from their first marriage.
I think you should consult with a probate attorney to help you determine if any assets are actually part of the estate meaning that they did not pass automatically to the wife under one of the above scenarios. If so, then absent a will, you may have an interest in one or more assets. It is impossible to determine without an asset review.
If it turns out, however, that all of the assets did pass to the wife as described above, then you may want to reach out to her to see if she will give the children some of the family items which would be of sentimental value to you. Sometimes, the wife will be very happy to do so; sometimes not so much. It depends on the relationship.
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