Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Mississippi

My half sister wants to Petition court to reopen my mother�s estate in my deceased father�s 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 mother�s 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 didn�t state I was my mother�s 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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