assets being sold before probate
My brother died recently without a will. He was in the middle of a very nasty divorce and now his ''widow'' is selling assets before the estate is probated. My brother has 1 son who is 19 and is his only other heir. The wife's attorney sent a letter stating that there is only debt in the estate and has asked for the wife to be the independent administrator to save costs. My nephew has said that he will allow her to be a dependent administrator since she knows most about the estate, but he does not trust her so he wants court approval on the administration. My brother owned his own company (which she has sold the contents of)They own a home, boat, vehicles, etc. The wife has taken 3 trips in the 2 months since my brother's death and I am afraid that she is living off of and hiding the assets that should be shared with my nephew. Is there anyway that I can stop this without the expense of hiring an attorney. I can't go into debt myself and my nephew is working two jobs to put himself through college (she doesn't work). I had to pay for the funeral because she said that she had no money, but I am now told that she cashed a $100,000.00 insurance policy. Any advice?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: assets being sold before probate
The first question is whether your nephew is also the son of the widow, or if she's a step-mother. If he's her son as well, she inherits everything as a matter of law. Which is why we recommend changing a will, or preparing a proper will, if a divorce is pending.
If she's a step-mother, then your nephew needs to hire a lawyer. There's nothing you can do to help him since he's no longer a minor.