If your step-father had assets in his name alone and had a will naming his son as personal representative the son had no choice but to probate the estate. That's the only way you get the asset. I think it would a very good idea for your mother to consult with an attorney to be sure she is protected. If she was left out of the will, she still has rights. If she was in the will, but is concerned she may not receive all that she is due, she should have an attorney. I am your county and would be happy to speak with you about this 954-567-4100.
The contents of this answer should be considered friendly advice, not legal advice and the answer should not be construed to constitute an attorney-client relationship. If you'd like actual legal advice, call me at 954-567-4100. Also, if you liked this answer did, be sure to click the thumbs-up button
Ms. Lindquist is correct. She's a good attorney and she works in the same county where the will is being probated. I recommend you accept her offer and talk with her about your mother's situation.
Rani K. Sampson (509) 663-5588 is a Washington attorney whose clients ask her to solve problems and negotiate difficult situations in real estate development, business formation and operation, estate planning, probate administration, and other matters. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.
Yes your mother will need the advise of an attorney. If the will was executed by your step father prior to the marriage, she could be considered a pretermitted spouse, allowing her to inherit 50% of the probate estate. On the other hand if the will was done after the marriage, your mother may still be entitled to 30% of the total assets-unless she waived these rights via a pre/post nuptial agreement. I would consult with an attorney right away to determine her rights to his estate. The attorney from your county who answered above is a good attorney well known in this area of the law and has a stellar reputation, I would suggest you contact her as well.