My stepfather died. He inherited my late mother’s estate and always said he’d take care of us in his will. How do I tactfully broach this issue with his kids?

Dear Quentin,

My former stepfather handed away a month in the past. He was married to my mom in Nevada on the time of her passing 21 years in the past. During their marriage she gave him fairly a bit of cash from her retirement fund to purchase and maintenance properties that he/they owned. 

When she handed away, her property — together with her retirement and Social Security — went to him (my mother had no will). My sister and I, who had been 19 and 21, bought nothing. Over the years, he instructed my grandmother and others that he was going to take care of that by placing us in his will. 

He has two older kids, a son and a daughter, who’re dealing with his estate alongside with a regulation agency, and I am at a loss of how one can broach the topic of his will. I truthfully wasn’t going to say something to them, if he truly did what he said he was going to and left us one thing.

Now I’m not so certain if he left us something. I don’t wish to come throughout as grasping, however my sister is a single mother and any monetary help could be most useful to her and her daughter. At the time of my mother’s dying rather a lot of folks had been upset that he took every little thing. 

Is there any tactful strategy to deal with this?

Left Behind With Nothing

Dear Left,

My instincts inform me that you weren’t talked about in the need. 

For your sake, I hope I’m unsuitable. I have two causes for believing this: 1. Under intestate legal guidelines in Nevada, a partner receives group property — property acquired throughout the marriage and retirement and Social Security — and one-third of separate property. The relaxation goes to the children.

And 2. The incontrovertible fact that he instructed folks he was going to recollect you in his will, probably understanding that they might cross on this info, leads me to suspect that he knew you got the brief shrift when your mom handed away, and this secondhand information would appease you.

A extra easy approach of dealing with this could be to stick to the state regulation, and clarify this to you on the time, if there was no separate property, which appears unlikely, and converse to you immediately fairly than hoping you wouldn’t rock the boat based mostly on what your relations instructed you.

You shouldn’t be in a place to ask your stepsiblings for a handout. You can, as an alternative, entry any will that was filed with the county clerk in the district court docket in the county the place your stepfather handed away. If there was no will, stepchildren inherit nothing.

If there isn’t a will? You may argue your stepfather “forgot” about you in his will, and method his kids with a request for cash. But you’ll want to put a value in your delight for taking such an motion. Is it value it for $5,000? Or $50,000? Or $500,000? How massive is his estate?

Nothing occurs accidentally. Your stepfather spoke about how he would take care of you to everybody however you. That doesn’t bode properly. I hope I’m unsuitable, however 21 years is a very long time, and except you had been very shut throughout that interval, I don’t maintain out a lot hope. 

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