Dad died without a will and mom is in a nursing home, not competent. Any advice?



thanks for all the suggestions, just was not sure where to start. I at least have some ideas now.
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Reply to odat1993

Odat, You have a few issues to deal with:

1. The process for handling the estate of someone who didn't create a will is called "intestacy". States have their own rules for lineage and who gets the assets when someone dies w/o a will.

2. You'll either need to research your state's laws on intestacy to determine who gets what, or consult an estate planning or elder law attorney. If your father's assets were titled jointly with your mother or you (i.e., jointly, "with rights of survivorship"), title would pass to the still living person. But if there are assets that were NOT titled jointly, you may need to go through probate as well.

3. It wouldn't hurt to contact the probate court in your county to get more direction on how to proceed. You can also contact the local senior center and ask if they have free (but limited) advice on intestate estates. You might get enough information to guide you, but you might also have to consider hiring an attorney to help if a probate process is necessary.

4. If you're asking how to become enabled to handle your mother's affairs, I think the only way now if she's not competent is to seek guardianship and conservatorship. This is an expensive process though.

5. One thing you will need to do is "marshall the assets." Make a list of your father's assets, ranging from bank accounts, investments, real estate, vehicles, etc. This will be necessary if you need to seek legal help in managing your father's estate.

Good luck!

Are there specific issues that you want to address at the nursing home? Do they know you there? Sometimes they can be flexible, but sometimes not.
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Reply to GardenArtist

Dear odat1993,

I'm sorry for your loss. I know its a difficult time. I would check with an elder law attorney or a social worker about your options.
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Reply to cdnreader

No his estate will not go automatically to Mom. This is where the state steps in, especially if the surviving spouse is on Medicaid. Usually when there is no will, the children are entitled to % of the estate. Not sure how this will work with Mom in a home. I think you may need a lawyer.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Are you trying to figure out who has POA? If you are an only child, you kind of are, by default, If you have sibs, buckle up and see if you can work together.

You'll likely need a lawyer to help out. All dad's "estate" will go immediately to mom. If she's incompetent, you'll need to figure out who has POA and take it one step at a time.
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Reply to Midkid58

And your question is?
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Reply to cmagnum