If my father passed leaving no Will, how do I stop my grandmother from taking his stuff?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If my father passed leaving no Will, how do I stop my grandmother from taking his stuff?

My grandmother has gotten a lawyer who sent us a letter asking my sister and I to consent to her being the representative of his estate. I do not want to agree to this since they denied

my existence for my entire life. She would not give anything to my sister or me. She didn’t even tell us that he passed away. Not sure if he had anything besides debt. Is there any way to find out? Also, if he left only debt would we be responsible for it?

Asked on August 20, 2016 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) In your state, under the rules of "intestate succession" (who gets what when there is no will), if there are survinging children but no surviving spouse, the children get everythigng (if it's you and your sister, you'd share it).
2) If you don't trust her, since you and your sister stand to inherit, you'd be in good shape to have the court appoint one of you the representative.
3) No, you are not personally liable for any debt you did not personally guaranty. At worst, it will wipe out the estate and you won't inherit.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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