Technically you do not need their approval, but politically and from an inter-family personal perspective it is always a good idea to at least keep them informed and get approval if possible.
A prenuptial agreement if properly drafted and followed should protect your family. However, your father could have been more genereous than the agreement required and that is usually permissible under the agreement. Make sure there was no undue influence or duress if this was the case. You need to have this agreement and the situation reviewed by an estate attorney to be sure of where your family stands.
Your dad's will once probated is a matter of public record. The step mom's will is a private document that you have no right to see.
Hope this helps.
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If you possess a legally valid power of attorney (naming you as attorney in fact), you may act within the scope of that power of attorney and on behalf of the person who executed the document.
Keep in mind however that the power of attorney must have been executed when the individual signing same was of sound mind and capable of naming an attorney in fact.
I have run across situations where a family member holds a power of attorney, but the document was signed at a time when the signatory was mentally incompetent. Such a documen is without legal authority. A signatory to a power of attorney must be mentally competent at the time he/she executes (signs) the power of attorney document. Of course, the document must also comply with the requirements of the law of the state in which the document is executed.
Maintaing intra-family harmony is quite another matter and beyond the scope of my professional expertise.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this answer is not legal advice, does not establish an attorney-client relationship and is offered for informational purposes only. Individuals with questions or problems in any area of the law should consult a qualified attorney licensed to practice in the individual's jurisdiction.Ask a similar question
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