If a stepmother passes without a Will and there are stepchildren involvedplus anatural child, are the stepchildren entitled to anything?

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If a stepmother passes without a Will and there are stepchildren involvedplus anatural child, are the stepchildren entitled to anything?

The estate was initially built with the stepchildren’s natural father? My father’s Will when he passed, was created and forged by our stepmother and witnessed by her child and daughter-in-law. The fake Will at that time, read that everything was to go to our stepmother. She also hid assets before inventory was taken, and then later, had 3 auctions and disposed of some of the things that were our father’s. When we contested our father’s Will as fake ,the attorney we were working with, said it would cost thousands of dollars to call a handwriting analysis to court to verify that it was not my father’s signature although our attorney could clearly see this Will was forged. So we had to drop our case due to lack of funds. Now that she has passed, we would like to see if we are entitled to anything?

Asked on September 26, 2010 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The rules of intestate succession (dying without a will) determine inheritance.  Your stepmother died intestate.  Her children (natural and step-children) inherit equal shares of her estate.  No distinction is made between natural and step-children for purposes of inheritance of a decedent's estate.  For example, if there are a total of three children (natural and step-children), each child would inherit 1/3 of the estate.  If one of the children is deceased, but has surviving children, those surviving children would receive the deceased child's share and it would be divided equally among them.  


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