What am I entitled to regarding my late grandmother's estate?
Question Details: My grandmother passed away last year. I was recently contacted by someone appointed by the court. She died without a Will or Trust. My father is no longer living but his 5 siblings are. I was informed that I was being contacted because under state law I am entitled to my father's share. Everything was in her name at the time of her passing house, bank accounts, etc. I do not like anyone on that side of the family but do want what my father would have been entitled to. They don't have any recourse in stopping me do they? The woman on the phone said she would be sending out paperwork to everyone in a few weeks but I need to know if I should get a lawyer or just wait this out and hope the right thing is done.
1) Yes, you would be entitled under "intestate succession" (the rules for who gets what when there is no will) to your father's share. If you have any siblings, you and they will share his share or portion of the estate equally among you.
2) Whether it's worth hiring an attorney is a cost-benefit decison: the lawyer will help ensure you get your share (e.g. your aunts and uncles don't try to keep it for themselves, or fail to do anything with the estate), but is your father's share worth enough to justify spending several thousand on a lawyer? If the estate was $60,000, your father's share (1/6th, as one of 6 children) would be $10,000. If you paid a lawyer to help you get it, there might not enough left after paying the lawyer to make the time and effort worthwhile. If you believe her estate is worth $180,000 or more, then each share is $30,000+ and would be worth an attorney.