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no will

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My father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from seven years ago. the entire family was in shock for some time. my brothers (all adults) and i tried to be both supported and patient with my stepmother when it came to my dad's belongings. there was no will. we had hoped that as she healed from the loss she would want to release some momentos to his children and grandchildren. they had no children together and we had a very good relationship.

unfortunately it has been seven years and still nothing has happened. it is causing a strain in the family and it deeply saddens me. we had discussed hiring a lawyer when he passed but i did not at the time feel comfortable with that because i thought that she was just in mourning and needed time to except what had happened.

As the years roll on I am begining to feel that we are being deceived about matters. I feel my step mother pulling away from the entire family and I am concerned that we may never see the momentos. She will not even release pictures that we had requested COPIES of at our expense.

I do not want to appear as if we are digging for anything that is not ours but there are basically no ties to our family now and there are some medals of honor and such that my father was awarded and it breaks my heart to think that his grandchildren who have already lost thier grandfather will also lose any precious history that could be handed down.

So it is with a very heavy heart that i ask you the following questions,

seeing as there was no will. what exactly should have been the course of events? Should it have gone to probate? if so should we have been notified that it was? what ways could probate have been avoided? Legally can we do anything about it now?

Thank you for your assistance,

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