Probate attorney’s responsibilities under the law

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Probate attorney’s responsibilities under the law

My father passed away in Kentucky without a will and my stepmother is trying to sell me his things. Is that legal, because I just found out we’re his children untitled to half of his estate? Was she, or her attorney, required to inform us that we were entitled to half? Thank you.

Asked on July 7, 2016 under Estate Planning, South Carolina


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your father.
Since he died intestate (without a Will), the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.
Under intestate succession, the surviving spouse inherits your father's entire estate.  Therefore, your stepmother inherited your father's entire estate and can sell his property.
If there had not been a surviving spouse, the children would have inherited equal shares of the estate.

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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