Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Mississippi

My half sister wants to Petition court to reopen my motherís estate in my deceased fatherís behalf so that she and my half sisters and brother can be part of a wrongful death settlement of my mother. I believe she entered a class action suit against the makers of the drug Avandia, without my knowledge. I did asked to see the medicine that my mother was given and was told that the bottles were gone and I shouldn't do anything because my father had the same doctor as my mother, since he was alive then. At that time, I didn't feel like arguing so I dropped asking about the medicine and returned to my home in Illinois. I was not told about the settlement claim until I received documents from the lawyer she hired. Once my sister found out she had to include me to collect, the lawyer sent me documents to be a joinder in the Petition to open my motherís estate and to sign making her the Administratrix. ( My mother died in May, 2008, of a heart attack, while in the hospital. My father passed in Sept. 2012) These documents didnít state I was my motherís only son and her blood relative, or does it mention that they are her step-children. I can't trust my half-sister because of her pass action, so I did not sign. What I would like to know is, would the step-children in a case like this, get equal shares even if I am the only child of my mother and what steps should be taken next?

Asked on 7/27/13, 3:50 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Albert Pettigrew Law Offices Ph 228-875-8736

If a person dies without a will, the law of intestacy in the State where deceased last resided will control. Assuming Mississippi is the proper jurisdiction, Miss. Code 91-1-3 provides that an intestate estate shall descend to the deceased's children in equal parts. Section 91-1-7 provides that a widower would be entitled to a child's share as well. The widower's estate would be distributed the same way. Section 91-1-5 provides that there shall be no distinction made between kindred of the whole and half-blood, except that the kindred of the whole-blood, in equal degree, shall be preferred to the kindred of the half-blood in the same degree. All children of a particular deceased parent are kindred of the half blood to that parent. There is no right for step children to inherit by Miss. law of intestacy.

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Answered on 8/03/13, 7:25 am

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