Ok here goes, my father passed away in 10/14/2015, my mother passed away sometime in 2016. A liability insurance claim of $2000 came a few months back from Metlife apparently years ago my father took out this and my mother was the beneficiary. The paper said it was nearly three years and was about to be placed in unclaimed funds. So inquired if I had any legal claim to is since she was deceased. I was told I was so I made inquires and discovered a half sister from my mother in later marriage. We decided to split the $2000 dollars. Now I do not understand why my half-sister and her family have now decided they have claim to my father's possessions, they said because my mother was on the property deed when they were married. I tried to explain to them I have all my father's papers in his safe, his will signed and witnessed 1985 left me as his executor and left me his estate, I also have a copy of the property deed which you can see was amended her name had been stricken from the deed after their divorce in 1974 divorce. I also have copies of the 1974 divorce papers, and their settlement papers in 1973 showing she signed and it was witnessed that she released all claims to any of my father's current or future possessions and he did as well for her possessions in 1973. So how can this half sister be able to get a lawyer to draw up documents to claims something I can see no reason they should have rights to?
1 Answer from Attorneys
This online post can give very general statements of the law but can't offer personal legal advice or analyze a specific claim. If a lawyer has contacted you demanding rights to certain property on behalf of an heir to your parent's estate, you may wish to sit down with an attorney of your own chosing to analyze those claims and how to best respond.
If someone dies without a will, their property passes under the laws of intestate succession to their relatives. If someone dies with a will, their property passes to the persons they named in their will, subject to the rights of current spouses to elect a statutory share. Generally speaking, a stepchild or child of a former spouse of someone who died would have no inheritance rights under Maryland law unless they were adopted by the person who died or named as a beneficiary.