What are the rights of the next of kin in an estate?

Question Details: My daughter, who is 19, lost her father 8 months ago. He had a girlfriend but was not legally married to her; my daughter is his next of kin. What rights does she have? Is she automatically in charge of the estate? His girlfriend and family are keeping my daughter out of the loop on everything and won't even give her something small of his to remember him by I have heard they have hired an estate attorney but can they even do that if my daughter is next of kin. She had to give permission for the Medical Examiner to release him and for the funeral home to do his funeral service so why is she now being kept out of the loop and what can she do to change it? Oh and her father was not worth a penny. He has substantial debt and does not own much as far as assets other than a car.

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