My father's Will mention that he had 3 children. In the will he said that his wife was the executor unless she was manic and then he named me as executer if that was the case. The will also stated she can distribute the will as she sees fit.

Long story short- I did see a lawyer to see if there was anything I could do to get an inheritance. My lawyer suggested me living there as executor so she couldn't take all of the estate. I called several lawyers and they said there wasn't much I can do.

My father was 75 and he had Parkinson's.

About a week after my father died she showed my husband and I all the stuff that he had in the closet and safe. He collected coins and jewelry and had my grandparents items in there also. There was a lot of valuables!

My father didn't even want his wife to have access to the closet and safe. Nobody but him had access.

My father gave me the combination of the safe years prior to his death and told me I was the only one to have it.

She gave me a few pieces of jewelry and said she'd give more later.

We received tons of my father's old clothes and shoes. Nothing of value.

Her and I had words and they weren't pleasant on either side.

About a month ago she sent my daughter some of my father's valuable pieces of jewelry. Just out of the blue which conjured old feelings again.

She married a year after my father died. I feel she took our history and any inheritance my father wanted for us to have.

She said my father didn't want us to have anything. And that comment has stuck with me for almost 2 and 1/2 years.

Wonder if I can still do something legally? If not, I really feel that she had no intention at all to share and that I suffer mentally because of it. Depression..

I need closure and just don't know how to go about it!

It costs a lot of money to contest the Will.

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WannaNo, I am sure you are correct that she was involved, the truly sad thing is that your dad didn't assert his wishes in writing. Not bad mouthing him, it is so common in 2nd, 3rd marriages that the new wife ends up with everything. I didn't even get family pictures, my dad was married to a psychopath that would destroy his personal things when she had an episode. He walked away with the clothes he came into the marriage with and nothing else, she spent every penny, he allowed it, then took a hike when he was a sick old man.

I rest in the knowledge that we all answer for our actions, either here and now or at the judgment. She has some things to answer for. I would not want to be in her shoes.

I get how hard it is to feel taken, especially when you are a giver.

Cherish what you recieved and your children and the fact that you are not like your dads wife.
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I agree, it hurts but don’t live in the past. Good response.
2.5 years is to long to wait. Most probate closes in a year, maybe 2 depending on circumstances, you missed your opportunity by waiting so long.

Be happy that you received anything, your dad did this by not being specific in his wishes. You have to let it go and move forward. You learned a valuable lesson, how to make sure that you don't do the same thing to your children.

I am sorry that the loss of your dad came with so much added grief.
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WannaNo Apr 2019
Yes I've learned some valuable lessons lots!
I believe my x stepmother was sitting right there when the will was redone.
No, I'd never do that to my children..I'm a giver. It's hard to believe some people aren't;(.
Thank you for your response!
Time to let it go. She was executor and could dispense as she saw fit as long as she followed what the will stated. Since so much time has elapsed any Probate would probably be the closed.

Have you thought that some of these items could have been sold to pay any final expenses he could have had?
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WannaNo Apr 2019
Yes, I knew what needed to be paid for as far as the expenses. And, there was some.
I think my father thought she would be a little more giving than what she was.
When the closet and safe was opened I recognized a couple of things my father had forever. A couple of whiskey bottles with a little change.
I saw some old tie tacks that belonged to my grandfather. She let us look for 1 second and hurry and closed the door. That stuff wasnt valuable, but it would have been nice to have.
She wouldnt Pay for my father's headstone, not even pitch in. My brothers and I made sure he got one.
I diffently know there was enough money to pay for all of there obligations and then some.
Thanks for responding!
I think you need to blame Dad and the lawyer who drew up the will. Its really kind of sketchy. How long was Dad married to his wife?

Usually, between a wife and a husband a will reads "what mine is yours". Children are usually not mentioned. Once a spouse dies, the surviving spouse then has their will done leaving the children the balance of any estate.

Yes, I think since this woman was not your Mom that Dad should have made provisions for what he wanted each of his children to have of his personal things. But he didn't. And looks like the lawyer didn't persue it. He left it up to the wife and she did give you something. If he hadn't had a will, she would have been allowed, MAYBE, the larger % by state law and you and siblings the smallest between you. I think NJ is 75% for the spouse and 25% for children. So each of u would get 8.3% of the 25%.

There are lots of posts on this site where a step parent refuses to give anything to the children of a former marriage. Thats why their are wills. So that the person is CLEAR about what they want. Your Dad wasn't.
So if you are blaming her, don't. She is doing as Executor how the will reads. Not trying to be rude or cruel here, but be glad you received something and your daughter did too and let it go.
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I wonder if you went down the road of contesting the will, at the cost of much time and expense, if you’d find at the end that there was nothing left to gain. Since your father’s wife has remarried chances are she’s moved on in many ways and likely cleaned out many of the items you’re thinking of. I hope you’ll make peace with what’s happened. Your dad should have written his wishes in a will that was specific. That wasn’t done. Not to sound trite, but in the end it’s all just stuff, it’s the memories you’ll always have and no one can take that
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I agree with Cali. Several lawyers have said there was nothing that could be done. Why waste money on a loosing battle?

Sorry you are depressed. Yes, you do need closure but the only answer I have for closure is most likely something that you don’t want to hear which is, for your own sanity, let it go. Put the entire mess behind you.

I’m sure you loved your father and perhaps you see his personal belongings as being a part of who he was. While that is true, these items represent what your father enjoyed, his collections, hobbies and other various valuables but they aren’t the essence of your dad.

Remember the good times with your dad, experiences that you shared and most of all, his heart that he loved you with. My father did not leave a anything for us in terms of monetary value. I would have loved the handmade quilts that his mom made but they were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina along with everything else. I would have loved the photo that proudly hung on their wall of him in his military uniform. He was quite handsome! After losing everything in the storm my perspective changed on material items though. Memories are more important.

What he did lea ve was priceless, a lifetime of love, sacrifices that he made so we could live well while he was alive, very special memories of being an incredible grandfather to our children and so forth. I will take that over valuables any day!

I wish it had worked out how you had wanted it to but for some reason he did not leave a specific will, without someone other than his wife as executor.

Again, sorry that this is painful for you. Many families have been through these ordeals.

My FIL was married to my MIL for almost 50 years. She got lymphoma and died. He had an affair with a woman that worked at the hospital where my MIL went for chemo treatments. They reconnected at the hospital, she had been a childhood neighbor and they attended the same schools.

We didn’t even have privacy to grieve my MIL because he tried to force this woman down our throats immediately after my MIL’s death and she expected to be treated like a queen bee. It was awful, so trust me when I say, I get it! Okay, I really, truly get it! You can pm me if you want to vent further. Trust me I understand.

My FIL tried to make us feel guilty for not warming up to this woman. He threatened my husband not to leave him anything of monetary value because we didn’t have warm and cozy feelings for a person who was a stranger. We were grieving a beautiful mom, MIL and grandma!

Had he met this woman a bit further down the road and allowed us to grieve as a family we would have been happy for him and welcomed her. It was a mess! My children were confused by his behavior. We were concerned and confused and tried to be able to speak to him privately. No way! This woman took over his life. Honestly, I am surprised she wasn’t at the funeral! She bragged about him crying in her arms the night my MIL died. She bragged about spending all of his money.

He had us all fooled that he loved my MIL. Became a nightmare.

My husband ended up telling him to flush his money and everything else down the toilet, that all we wanted was to love him and he rejected our love. His loss! He’s missing out on having a wonderful son, daughter in law and grandkids. I feel sorry for him. Yes, it hurt. We had no choice but to move on and live our lives. My husband and I decided not to live in the past, only to lose the present. Not worth it!

My FIL moved out of state. It is what it is. We do not have the power to change things. It’s his choice to choose this woman over his family.

I asked my husband once, if he had one thing he could ask his father what would it be. His response was, “Was it worth it, Dad?” I am very proud of my husband. He is the opposite of his father. He’s more like my dad. He’s a man that I not only love and appreciate but deeply admire and respect.
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If your father wanted his children to have something, he should have written it out. As it is, he left his wife as executor and you’ve been told by several lawyers that there is nothing you can do. What do you want to accomplish by contesting the will? Will be the investment be worth the return? Can you afford the legal fees? What if you prevail BUT everything is already long gone?
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