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Brother died. Ex-wife says he left everything to her...

Discussion in 'Estate Administration & Probate Court' started by Rob Jones, May 17, 2019.

  1. Rob Jones

    Rob Jones Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Ohio
    My half brother died last week. I get a call from his ex-wife letting me know of his death, and informing me that he left everything to her. I have no idea if there is a will, when it was created, etc. This is in Ashtabula County, Ohio.

    Where do i even begin? I live out of state.

    Thanks.
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    Look up the number for the Probate Court in that county and talk to the court clerk's office.
     
    Zigner likes this.
  3. Rob Jones

    Rob Jones Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I called them and they told me to talk to a probate attorney. Thanks anyway. I have already contacted a few.
     
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Begin to do what?

    It is beyond common for married couples to leave their estates to each other. Do you have some reason to believe your brother would not have done exactly that? Likewise, do you have reason to believe that most or all of their significant assets were not held jointly with the right of survivorship or that his wife was not designated as a pay-on-death beneficiary?

    Note that, after a week, it's completely unlikely that any probate proceedings have begun, and it's entirely possible (maybe even likely) that probate will not be needed.
     
  5. Rob Jones

    Rob Jones Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I guess you missed the part about it being his "ex-wife."
     
  6. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Yup. I did, but my "begin to do what?" question still applies.

    Do you have some reason (beyond the fact that they were no longer married) to believe your brother didn't leave his estate to his ex-wife?

    Do you have reason to believe he prepared a will at any time in his life? If he prepared a will while he and his ex were married, do you have reason to believe that he amended that will or prepared a new one (or changed beneficiary designations on assets) after they divorced?

    Which of the 49 states that aren't Ohio is your residence?

    Are either or both of your brother's parents living? Does he have any living issue (i.e., children, grandchildren, etc.)?

    Do you have any idea of the value of his estate?

    Has anyone been through his home to identify and secure his belongings and personal papers?
     
    justblue likes this.

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