Blended families are common these days. With blended families may come some estate planning issues. One of these is when a step-sister is appointed as executor of your mom’s will.
nj.com’s recent article, “I’m fighting with my mom’s executor. What can I do?”, looks at this situation where there are two homes involved—one in which the executor sister lives and the executor’s other sister lives in the second house. The daughter here has been denied access to anything other than a few photos, she must share with her only full sister.
While many people believe they can’t afford an attorney, in a battle over an estate, you’re probably going to need one.
Let’s assume the daughter is an heir entitled to a portion of her mother’s estate.
While the daughter says she’s been denied access to the homes, an attorney will check to see if the will gives her a right to possession and/or ownership.
If the daughter doesn’t have a copy of the will, the executor must provide one to her.
She can also get a copy from the surrogate’s office or county court, where the will was probated.
The will likely describes what her rights are and the appropriate action the attorney can take on her behalf.
The will might provide her stepsisters with the right to live in the homes, it may provide them with ownership of the homes, or it may simply provide that the estate is to be divided between the beneficiaries in certain percentages or dollar amounts.
The first step is to retain a qualified estate planning attorney and to take a look at the terms of the will.
Reference: nj.com (September 19, 2019) “I’m fighting with my mom’s executor. What can I do?”