Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Washington

Father's Will and Stepmother's Rights

My father left most of his assets to me, including several payments in cash, rolling stock and personal effects. My stepmother has liquidated most of these assets and refuses even to give me pictures of my father or specifically requested items. What legal recourse, if any, do I have? Specifically, I want pictures and my father's 1972 Camaro that he reconditioned. Do I have to purchase the car even if I am named in the will? Are all his effects community property?

Asked on 6/20/05, 1:15 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Elizabeth Powell ELizabeth Powell PS Inc

Re: Father's Will and Stepmother's Rights

You need to go get a lawyer who can investigate for you and determine what the will says and where the assets of the estate are.

The will, if it has been admitted into probate, is public information. Go to the courthouse and look it up. If what your father's testementary plan provides is different from what you understand has happened to the assets of his estate, then you are entitled to understand why and where things are.

Call your local county bar association. They will be able to refer you to an attorney for a consultation. If your stepmother has an attorney helping her with the probate, talk to someone else in another firm.

I can't tell from your submission whether this question is based in WA or TX. WA is a community property state; your father's estate partly belongs to your stepmother if it is here, and he can devise only part of it to other persons such as yourself. Part of it is hers. I'm not licensed in TX so cannot comment on the law there.

Best of luck. You should be able to get a consult for a very modest fee - say $25 or $30 - well worth it.

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Answered on 6/20/05, 9:20 pm

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