What to do if mother passed away some years ago and I have an older half-brother who has keep me out and away from the house?

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What to do if mother passed away some years ago and I have an older half-brother who has keep me out and away from the house?

I don’t know if there is or was a Will.

Asked on March 22, 2013 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You need to file for a probate of your mother's estate.  If there is no will, then the estate will be divided according to your state's probate rules.  Because both you and your half-brother are descendants, each of you would be entitled to a portion of the estate-- unless there is a will that specified otherwise.  In this case, it would be your half-brother's responsibility to produce the will or some other instrument showing that it was your mother's intent not to grant you a portion of her estate.  The probate process begins with the filing of a petition.  There are many online forms now available, but considering that your probate could involve contested issues and paperwork necessary to transfer ownership, it would help if you could hire a probate attorney to help you through the process.


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