My second cousin has been raised by her maternal grandmother, who’s my aunt. Her mom is an addict and her father, who offered minimal however fixed help, died a month in the past. My cousin’s mother and father weren’t married and a help order was not in place. We lately found that the deceased father owned property and had two grownup daughters from a earlier marriage.
These daughters will not give my aunt, their sister, their father’s Social Security quantity and don’t want to embrace my cousin in any inheritance. There is not any will. My aunt needs to file a declare for Social Security advantages on behalf of her granddaughter. The granddaughter will quickly flip 15 years of age and needs to go to school. What are you able to advocate for my aunt to do relating to Social Security and potential inheritance?
Two grasping sisters who want to management their father’s property by slicing off their youngest sibling? It seems like a Grimm fairytale. But fortunate in your 14-year-old cousin, she has family members who’ve her again and want her to have her rights as a authorized inheritor acknowledged. The greatest a part of your letter: This cash might assist fund her schooling and alter her life. And so it shall. Because these two sisters are betting on their youngest sibling not having sufficient information or energy to take any motion. She is entitled to excess of Social Security.
But you’re proper concerning the Social Security facet. “When you die, members of your family could be eligible for benefits based on your earnings,” in accordance to the Department of Social Security. “Unmarried children can receive benefits if they are: younger than age 18 — or up to age 19 if they are attending elementary or secondary school full time — or any age and were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled.” So that ought to be a welcome and useful stipend in your cousin. Here’s some steerage on how to discover his Social Security number online.
But there are greater points right here. She is a authorized inheritor and, as there was no will, your cousin is probably going entitled to no less than one-third of her father’s property assuming her father was not married on the time of his demise, and there have been solely three surviving youngsters. Children born outdoors of marriage have the identical authorized rights, so long as they weren’t adopted by one other household. In New York, a partner would inherit the primary $50,000 of her father’s property since there was no will and one-half of the stability. Descendants obtain all the things else.
So what do you do now? It’s been one month since your cousin’s father died, so you need to begin the ball rolling immediately. Hire a lawyer and file a petition with the county courtroom to nominate your self or one other grownup relative as administrator. Given that this case is a slam-dunk, most legal professionals would do that on a contingency foundation and take their payment after the property has been settled. If the father’s identify was on the deeds of the home — which appears probably as there was no will — the property should undergo probate.
Good luck. I, for one, hope there’s sufficient in her father’s property and property for a school fund.
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