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I cannot even get one of his old t-shirts to sleep in, while she gives away sentimental items to HER kids, she did not even offer to fly me home for his burial. She had been sucking him dry financially ever since she gained control of the finances due to his C.O.P.D. not to mention the fact that she broke up our family after doing the same thing to his best yes BEST FRIEND. I know that he can't be brought back, but she needs to be held accountable. I am truly outside of myself and fear for my freedom. My father was very clear with me that he wanted me to have his watch, his wedding band, and a few other small items of a collectible nature and he made a big deal about a time share. She must have been giving him problems over which one would go to me because he called me up to ask me if I would mind the South African time share because his wife wanted the Hawaiian one. I do not even care if she sees this because she knows what she did. She did not want me to be a part of his life and he would not allow her to do that. She was, however able to keep me out of being a part of his death. How do I get a copy of his will, of which he certainly had, but she is making it impossible for me to contest? She cut me off and out before he was even in the ground. Help with advice please.

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If there is no Will, in my state, then someone is appointed an Administrator. That person carries out the same duties as an Executor minus the distribution of monies. That is determined by the State. The wife getting a percentage and the rest split between "his" blood children. Steps do not count. No blood children then I think it trickles down to grands. In NJ, without a will, even living parents can receive something.

When my sister died without a Will in Md the state stepped in and appointed a lawyer who Mom answered to. The state came in and told Mom what each item should sell for. A used VCR was marked at $100, by then u could buy a new one for that. Same for an old black and white TV, over priced. My nephew was declared her only living relative and received her insurance. So, every state is different.
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Depending on the state, there are different ways to compel the filing of a will. She may not have ever filed it because if there is no will then the spouse usually inherits everything. If she did file it then it is public record and you can get a copy of it. If you know who your father's attorney was you could start by contacting him. If he is also your step mother's attorney then find another one.
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Probate takes a while. I think in NJ you have to wait 8 or 9 months before you can close it even when things are cut and dry. So you have lots of time to find out if she is probating a will. You probate in the County you live in. The Will becomes public. Anyone can see it. Each beneficiary has to be contacted by mail that the Will is in probate. A copy of the will enclosed or that the Executor has to make it available when asked. This has to be proven to probate that beneficiaries and interested parties have been notified.

So, you have to call the County Probate office and ask if the Will has been probated. Then ask if you are beneficiary of that will. If so, ask if a copy can be sent to you since you have received nothing from the Executor. The Executor has to carry out the terms of the Will or u can sue.

Probating of a Will can take years if there is property or someone contests. If a house needs to be sold and the proceeds split up. All creditors have to be given time to file leans. No money can be distributed until all debts are paid.

I feel for you, but your father should have made provisions for his children long ago. As she should have for hers. Sentimental things should have been given to you if he wanted you to have them before his death. He must have realized along the way the woman he married. And I doubt if you can bring charges against the wife. She is his wife. She has a right to distribute any of his belongings to who she sees fit if he never made his wishes known in a Codicil to the Will.

Its a shame you didn't have a better relationship with her. I have never understood these kinds of people. Guess its a power thing. So sorry.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Isthisrealyreal Apr 25, 2020
For my dads 3rd wife it was all about the money.
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If he had a trust it need not be registered, but a will is public document. You go to the records department in city and state where he died. If you had a bad relationship with the wife before his death, that cannot now be changed. I think you will not get the things that you would like to have. Apparently there is not a relationship with the step-siblings also? Because they might be an eventual path to the keepsakes you wanted. I am sorry you were unable to be with your Dad at his passing; that would, to me, be the most important thing. He will live now in your heart and soul, not in any item, so after you check to see if the will is registered in probate, it is time to let this all go. And keep your own happy memories. So sorry for your grief. Often we wish to be angry to avoid the pain of grief; over time that doesn't work.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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rhoguescholar Apr 25, 2020
I don't know why but for some reason what you wrote, although I understood in my heart, I had been avoiding in my mind-
You are absolutely correct-
I just want my Daddy back-
But I should be grateful for having him present for so many years-
I have never understood those type of people (her) either- but it is now over and I do not have to understand her anymore- Now that was refreshing to think and to say-
You have been a welcomed voice and I stand enlightened- I see a light where I had not-Thank you so very kindly
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rhoguescholar, I'm so sorry that you were denied a chance for a proper farewell to your best friend. Your story is heartbreaking, and unfortunately, extremely common. I'm not sure how you get a copy of the will but if there's no will it goes to probate (but you will need to check on the state law of his actual residence I think). Probate court is a specialized type of court that deals with the property and debts of a person who has died. The basic role of the probate court judge is to assure that the deceased person's creditors are paid, and that any remaining assets are distributed to the proper beneficiaries. This is your chance to make your case for the items he verbally promised you.

If you wish to pursue financial abuse charges you will need to prove everything you suspect in court. You should contact an experienced elder law attorney who specializes in financial abuse. This attorney can tell you if you have enough of a case to move forward. You will need to spend the money for this consult and for any legal work going forward. I'm sorry to tell you but your dad is partly to blame. If he wanted you to have certain things he should have had that legally documented and witnessed. Your dad chose this women knowing she took his best friend to the cleaners. That's on him. Again, I'm so sorry for your emotional pain. If this is all pretty recent, I would give it a little time before acting upon your suspicions so that you can make rational and not emotional decisions. May you gain peace in your heart no matter what the outcome.
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Reply to Geaton777
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rhoguescholar Apr 25, 2020
Geaton777 Thank you for your reply- unfortunately, were I to take the time necessary to achieve a rational mind, the probate time limits will have come and gone- I am not really concerned about dollar value, because the things that are rightly mine are relatively low in dollar value. But, it is important that I move quickly, for if not- the disbursement will have moved out of reach- I would have been peaceful with one of his old T-shirts and a kind behavior exhibited by his evil, evil, horrible, lying, thieving ugly fake partner. She did not take his best friend to the cleaners, when she realized that she couldn't is when she moved on to more vulnerable grounds. I am also heartbroken over my step sister, with whom we made a pact to always be sisters with- she also completely abandoned me. I am outraged and angered, but not shocked, that I was right about her rat-like behavior, and that he was wrong. He has, I am sure, made legal and witnessed proof, but she, I am certain, is doing everything to evade anything honest and moral, but that is who she is....typical Christian mask with her hand in the tithing basket, she was simply made that way.
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