Brother is incarcerated and has sentence, has been there since she 16 he’s 48 now. Both our parents have passed and the is no will

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Brother is incarcerated and has sentence, has been there since she 16 he’s 48 now. Both our parents have passed and the is no will

Does my brother who is
incarcerated have the rights to
my parents vehicle and other
belongings or the right to tell
us we can’t touch any of it.

Asked on April 6, 2017 under Estate Planning, Alaska


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If your mother died "intestate", that is without a Will, then state law controls how her estate will be distributed. Typically, in such a situation, assets are split between the surviving spouse, if any, and the children of the deceased. Accordingly, you and your siblings are your mother's sole heirs (since you mentioned no husband of hers). This includes your incarcerated brother since being in prison does not affect someone's right to inherit. That having been said, as just one of several heirs, he has no right to say what should happen with the assets. What should be done now is for you (or another sibling) to go to the probate court in the county in which your mother was living when she died. Then an application should be made to be appointed as"Personal Representative" of her estate (this is like an executor when there is no Will). The PR will then be in charge of administering the estate (i.e. paying off her bills and distributing her assets).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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