WHO INHERITS WHEN PARENT DIES AND THERE IS A STEPPARENT

Question:

My mother passed away last month and my stepfather is the surviving spouse. We have not been told of any will or life insurance. We have not had access to her personal items. She did leave us a payable on death certificate of deposit which my step father claims is his retirement life savings and is upset that she left that to us. I don’t know what I need to do. I read in a waiver that we daughters should be receiving 50% of all her assets and my step father 50% if there is no will. What steps should I take?

Response:

You need to contact an attorney at once. If there was a will, one result may be that you get nothing from the estate.  A child has no right to inherit from a parent if the parent does not want a child to inherit.  If there is no will, your stepfather would inherit with the children of your mother which include you.

Contacting an attorney will give you the information that you need.  Who will be the Personal Representative of the estate of the deceased parent is an important issue to be decided also.   You need to discuss all of these issues with an attorney at once to determine your rights.

About Nathan Davis, Esquire

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Nathan Davis has been practicing law for many years. Mr. Davis has a wide variety of experiences having practiced domestic relations, criminal law, social security law having also practiced collection law in the past. This knowledge is helpful when someone needs to restart their financial life. The practice is now primarily bankruptcy and debtor representation work, but, Mr. Davis continues to also practice real estate law, trusts and estates and a general litigation practice. I believe that the most important part of representation is trying to leave you better off when the case is finished than when you started. Although I will do as my client directs, I will always tell you if I think that you are making a mistake. Bankruptcy is about a "fresh start". If you do not make changes in what you are doing, you will be doing what you are doing now in the future. There is no shame in bankruptcy or other steps that you may take to start your life over. Too often, people worry more about things than about themselves, their family or their future.
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