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My mom & dad divorced many years ago, they are both 87 and there are 5 children 2 out of state. My dad got to the point healthwise where he couldn't take care of himself and was failing rapidly, he called and said he can't do it anymore by himself we picked him up he lived with my husband and I for 4 months when we put him in an assisted living home. The doctors gave him 6 months and he lived 3 1/2 years. It was very difficult dealing with him daily but, we did my husband is retired and my dad became his responsibility as far as doctors, tests, medication delivery everything. My husband and I worked diligently on everything for him and my dad knew this. We had joint checking and savings accounts for years and on each investment he had I was his beneficiary. Last year we cashed everything in because his cost of living became more costly and per the suggestion of his tax man, being my dad was in a cheaper tax bracket it would be better. I tried keeping all of my siblings updated with everything via email and letters however; they would criticize everything I said or did so we would argue. The one that received the letters never read them. It's been a nightmare I just couldn't believe my family could be like this. We were even accused of stealing material things from my dad. No help, no support, nothing. Now my dad has passed away. I've been told everything is mine and I'm entitled to it all however; this is not me. I want to share his monies, not equally however. How do I do this and my siblings not argue with me about amounts and not splitting equally. I do not feel they are entitled! There is no will, I was his POA and handled everything my dads feeling was I would handle everything the way I felt best. And now I don't know what or how to do it as I don't even want them to know the monies left because it never mattered when he was alive. Not one question pertaining to how much he started with, how much I paid out monthly, how much this increased, that increased nothing. This is so difficult as I don't want to appear greedy however; they most certainly don't deserve what my husband and I do, missing work and spending days, days and more days handling everything that needed to be taken care of from moving him from up north to a new facility, living with us, social security, Medicare, insurance, medication, dealing with the doctors, nurses, aides everything! Also, being with him Birthdays and all Holidays when no one else would appear.

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The court option would only apply to assets held that were not in trust for her or in dad's name jointly with someone... example, joint checking.... goes to the survivor on the account at the time of Dad's passing. House in Dad's name only would be probated through the court.
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So long as everything was put into the "joint owner". WROS! Then probate is not involved....there is no estate.

This is what my Mom has done with me.

Even though Mom was thinking to rewrite her will to exclude my brother...it just doesn't matter. There is no estate for the will to probate.
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I suggest you go to the probate dept in ur county and see what ur
Rights are. The POA died with ur Dad. U will need executor to handle his estate. Hopefully you kept records on what u put out to get reimbursed. Otherwise, u may have to split 5 ways. The state will get involved and get their share.
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Dsav--I am sorry for your loss and your squabbling sibs.
I think the advice you've gotten covers all the bases. I would personally talk to an attorney specializing in this kind of thing. Without question, things will arise within the family and if you have the "law" backing you up, you will feel better about your choices.
Sounds like your sibs would be lucky to inherit anything, but for the sake of family peace, I would give each of them a certain amt with a document they must sign to show they understand this is all they are getting and no more.
I don't know how your mother is doing or the causation of the divorce. My FIL and MIL divorced 13 years before he passed. At that time she got WAY more than "half" and was nasty and negative until the day dad died. He had a rental house she ignored completely, and he quietly included that in his will. She "assumed" (I don't know why) she'd get that. Day after his funeral she is on the phone talking to ME about it. I let the executor (hubby) give her the news that she had never been left this house and she was not to inherit one cent. (She did, however, get the other half of dad's pension, so her income jumped up by double!!)
She had PLENTY, and then some. The executor gave her nothing, as was her due. However, I know that my FIL wouldn't have wanted her to struggle, so if she had "needed" any money, my FIL would have set it up to leave her a substantial amt. When things are NOT written down, you are really just working in the dark.
And BTW, even tho all the sibs got along and agreed, there was one sib who, without question, got the lion's share. She had done the most caregiving, I suppose, and it's not my family, so I kept under the radar and cleaned and painted.
Hang on, this isn't going to be a pleasant ride!
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Dsav - it sounds like Dad left everything either POD (pay on death) or with a beneficiary designation to you. Usually banking stuff can be POD; but annuities or other insurance products going beneficiary designation. And they would transfer outside of probate; usually by doing a written request to insurance co then they send you a questionnarie (maybe on-line) that you fill out and return with dads original death certificate sent. Depending on the payout amount, it could be you get an actual check in your name as per beneficiary designation OR it could be direct deposited into your bank account so you send in your bank routing details along with death certificate.

If this is the case, then all $ is yours. And it was dads decision & intention to do ths for you & your hubs. Btw hubs sounds like a real gem to essentially do things for your dad as if it was his dad.... You've got a great guy!

My suggestion is to first stall siblings by clearly stating that you need to make sure all bills & health care costs of dad are fully paid. For this alone allow 6 months.

Then second within this period you meet with your atty to determine IF siblings are to get anything and how to be distributed. With siblings already griping, it would be best that IF you decide to share that it all come to them via your atty & done certified mail with all paperwork in order. Atty may suggest that distribution be done so that ALL siblings have to return paperwork to law office BEFORE any distribution done. So if Sissy #2 won't sign & return paperwork as she feels it's unfair, not enough... Just whatever, it keeps the others from getting their payout. It's a way to deflect away from you.

? Desav ? For you? You mention parents were divorced, so do you need to set aside $ for mom? Like would dad have wanted that and he knew by leaving all $ to you, this would be done? If so, then whomever is moms DPOA & you need to discuss $& how best to distribute to her 6 mos from now.

As an aside to "intestate", for ones I've had to deal with, there needed to be a "lineal heirship" determination done. Which meant providing a probate atty who does these information as to all marriages, divorces and children from (even if now dead) to establish who in theory could be a heir. Usually heirship filed in court where person died & where real property is with notice in newspaper. Then allow for period of time for responses to notice. If no challenges, then $ & assets distribution request go to judge to sign off on a lineal heirship distribution order. Happiness all around!
But IF there are challenges - like heirs from marriage #1; or other snafus - like property never properly transferred in past - then judge is probably going to require dependent oversight by an appointed atty for the heirship with the heirs or estate paying those costs. I had this with an aunt I was executrix for.... Even though she had a will she also had land in other counties from prior marriages that still remained in long ago dead old husbands names, it took notifications and some research to establish no other heirs but her by marriage to get orders to allow the land to be placed into her estate assets for probate. Lineal has to be just right to pass the sniff test of however judge runs their court & your states laws. It's not a DIY, you need a probate atty who does lineals as its pretty specific research done.
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If you were either a co-owner or the beneficiary (POD) on all of your father's assets, everything belongs to you. Assuming that your father was not incompetent, he had the right to add your name to these assets. If there is no real estate involved, there is nothing to probate. My suggestion is that after you have determined what you feel is a fair amount to give each sibling, you have an attorney help you compose a letter to your siblings that says something to the effect that the enclosed check is a gift from you and represents a portion of the money that you inherited. The attorney may be able to include some language that implies that cashing the check signifies the sibling's acceptance of the gift as their portion of the estate. If so, that should help to eliminate the arguing.

One caution is that since the money is now yours, any amounts to the siblings would likely be considered a gift from you, and may have gift tax implications if the amounts exceed $14,000 per person, per year. You and your husband could each gift $14,000 per person without gift tax issues. If there is a large sum of money, you should use an attorney and a tax person to help you avoid any pitfalls.
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All wills go through probate. Probate is the process through which a will is determined to be legitimate.
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"How do I do this and my siblings not argue with me about amounts and not splitting equally."
If they argued with you while your dad was alive why wouldn't they argue with you now when they may have more to gain and no fear of having to care for dad? You've sought the advice of a tax professional. Perhaps a legal consultation will help you determine your liability and methods of distribution to avoid retaliation. Perhaps you have already had an attorney tell you it's all yours. We live in a litigious society and given the past behavior of your siblings they might not let it go. If you are legally the heir provide them that documentation. Then if you decide to give them a portion they might be better able to accept it without feeling cheated. They didn't accept your previous letters and emails etc. for whatever reason. Perhaps if you showed the lawyer what didn't work he would be able to come up with something different but more effective.
I'm sorry for the loss of your dad. Is your mother still living? Are you able to help care for her? Good luck on healing your family.
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Thank you everyone for all your help and comments!
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I was told nothing will go to probate because my name is on everything. I do know that no monies can be released for 6-12 months to be on the safe side as various bills may come in. We also have to have his income tax done and there will be taxes and charges that will need to be paid there. It's just a very stressful time because my dad has counted on my husband and myself for so much and had said I know the 2 of you have done so much for me and no one else has even stepped up you do what you have to if there is any money left. So he did know how much we had done for him. I also wanted to take care of my mothers supplemental insurance with this money as she doesn't have anything and lives from SS check to SS check and with my siblings I don't know if this would be an issue because I would allocate at least 10 years of cost toward this insurance for my mom and the siblings may dispute that as they would want it distributed among them also.
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I don't think there is anything that needs to go through probate. Her dad took care of her even without a will. Hooray!

CM, thanks for that explanation of the literal meaning of intestate. I learned something!
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Intestate means "with no will." If you think of the phrase "last will and testament," for example, you can see how the word is formed: in-testate, where the in- means not, as with incapable or insufficient or any number of other negative words.

What you will need to do is figure out what property in fact belonged to your father, so that his estate can go through probate. I'm not quite clear what you mean by your name being on everything. You'll need to check whether you actually owned things or not.
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I agree with CountyMouse, if there is no Will then it is up to the County Probate Court to decided who gets what.   All the paperwork required by the County needs to be put into place in a timely matter, and no distribution of the assets can be made until the Probate Court gives an ok.

You can plead your side regarding your care for Dad, and the non-interest by the siblings.

Any bank accounts and/or stocks that your Dad had will need to be placed in a new accounts saying The Estate of ________.   Any monies put into the account and taken out must be documented.   You also will need to give the market value of whatever furniture and items your Dad had while he was living in Assisted Living.  

Hope everything works out for you.
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Intestate is "without a will."

And yes, everything is fine. Do consider a lawyer's letter to break the news to your sibs.
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Churchmouse, I was told it would have helped with a will however; because my name was on everything things were fine. What is intestate?
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It is really a shame that your father didn't make a will. I'm afraid CM is correct and the state will distribute the money evenly. Do you have anything in writing where your dad states or implies he wanted it all to go to you?

Before the money can be divided up, creditors must be paid. For example if he owed anything to the ALF, that will be taken out first. Perhaps you can submit a "bill" for the services you provided. Since you didn't have a contract (I assume) I'm not sure if that would be considered a valid debt. Might be worth a try.

If the money is substantial it would be worth getting advice from a lawyer.

Wait. Wait! Is this going through probate? It looks like Dad took care of things by having you on his bank accounts and making you his beneficiary. In that case you do get all the money, fair and square. Your siblings don't even have to know how much it is. If you feel generous, give them each some money and keep the rest.

You still might want to contact a lawyer, to help mitigate the inevitable roaring of your sibs. Perhaps if they got a letter on a law firm's letterhead stating that you have inherited all of your father's funds. You wish to share $xxx with them. You are doing this of your own free will and are not obligate to do it. 

By his actions your father arranged for you to get it all! I don't think you need feel guilty about not splitting it evenly. It is generous of you to share at all.
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how do you reimburse yourself? Yes for missing a day at work I know how to do that but, the other things ~ cleaning out his home, getting rid of things meeting with the realtor, all the phone calls, setting all things up for sale of home, doctors and all the paperwork, paperwork for everything? How do you figure the reimbursement amount? We have documented everything and the length of time it took for various appointments however; we slacked for a few months and there is nothing there.
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I would say deduct what you have paid out of pocket for dad then divide the rest equally between yourself and siblings. Loose the guilt before you start. No one is "entitled" to anything you included as you did this of your own free will, but you should not actually loose money because of others non involvement. You don't actually have to tell the others how much dad had left by the end just how much they will be getting.
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I'm not sure about this, but if your father did not leave a will that means he died intestate and what happens to his estate will be decided by your state laws. Others will know better, so I'm sure you'll get better advice along in a minute.

Meanwhile, as long as you've kept good records of his income, assets, costs, expenses - everything he had, everything you spent on him - you'll be in the clear and no one can claim anything from you yourself, which is nice to think about.

What you do about sniping, back-seat-driving siblings who now there's money involved suddenly rediscover their family ties, though... Sorry. They're best just risen above, as far as you possibly can.
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First of all, make sure to give yourself enough money to reimburse yourself for all the time and money you put into helping your father. Your time counts, too! How much would be left after that? IF you feel you need to give your siblings something, why wouldn't it be equal amounts? Sounds like you already don't have a much of a relationship with any of them?
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