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How do I fight to get my moms ashes dog and her house?

Corbin, KY |

My mom died 5 months ago and my stepdad died May 12. His steppson who he didnt trust has control over everything. And now they have my moms house up for sale. Im at my wits end tring to get a lawyer to take my case. Plus I live in Corbin KY and my mom and stepdad both lived in Jacksonville NC. My stepsiblings found my moms will and destroyed it and had made up a new will while my stepdad was dying I dont think he was in his right mind when he signed the new will. Or he may have never knew bout this one. I was told by both what was to happen when they both die. And now its all uphill for me. Nobody will help me or take my case. I feel like nobody cares enough to help or talk to me . Please any helpful advise is greatful at this point. Thank you

Attorney Answers 3


I am very sorry for your loss and for the troubles you are now enduring. Because the facts are not clear from your summary, I will guess at what happened. Assuming the home was owned jointly between your mom and stepfather, it passed to him, upon her death. The same thing would be true of any other jointly held assets. Your mom's Will would then have applied only to whatever personal items were left. It likely provided that all such items passed to your step-father.

Of course, if the assets were titled otherwise, then more analysis is needed.

Assuming that I am correct in what happened, because your step-father survived your mother, then your mother's Will was not relevant. It may have been destroyed, for that reason.

As for your step-father's Will, if he had capacity, he could change his Will at any time. If the Will was set up properly, through an attorney, your chances of successfully challenging it are quite low. If you have compelling evidence that the Will was the product of lack of capacity or undue influence, you may be able to set it aside. That does not automatically revive the earlier Will, however. That is another battle.

Will contests are difficult to pursue and can be costly and long fights. You cannot do this without an attorney. You need an attorney that specializes in probate litigation.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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I agree with attorney Frederick. Your fact situation is quite complex and there may be legal and logical explanations for how the property was transferred. I would be worthwhile to consult with a probate attorney to decide whether you even have a claim. Keep in mind that it's difficult to get an attorney to take a will contest case without a substantial retainer as they are difficult to prove. However, many attorneys will probate an estate and receive their payment directly from the estate assets, so once you figure out what your issue is, you may be able to retain counsel.

Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.

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It sounds like you need to investigate the situation and you should find a probate litigation attorney in the Jacksonville, NC area. First, you should look at the deed titled to your mom and stepdad to see how it is worded. Sometimes deeds are available online. If not, call the Register of Deeds in Onslow County, NC, about obtaining a copy. You also need to obtain copies of the probate case in the same county. The sooner you investigate, the better.

It sounds like you have contacted attorneys because you say that no one will take your case, but have you checked for qualified probate attorneys in and around Jacksonville? Try the Find a Lawyer feature on this site. Will contests are difficult, but you need to make sure you have all the facts and have spoken to the right people before you decide what can or should be done. Good luck!

If this answer is helpful or you feel it is the best answer, please click that option. This response is for general informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. The writer is only licensed to practice law in TN. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the answers by the named attorney do not create an attorney-client relationship between said attorney and the user or browser.

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