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Are stepchildren considered heirs? Michigan Michigan

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  • Are stepchildren considered heirs? Michigan Michigan

    As the result of reading an article about finding "unclaimed" money/property held by the state, I conducted a search for unclaimed property under my family's name in the state of Michigan.

    It confirmed that neither I nor my sister are listed as being owed any "unclaimed funds". It also confirmed that there was no unclaimed property/money in my mother's or father's name.

    ...but, surprise! There is a listing for unclaimed property in my father's STEPmother's name.

    My question is: Since my father and his stepmother both are deceased, does his estate have any claim at all on these unclaimed funds?

    My father was an only child. His stepmother had no children at all. To my knowledge, she never formally filed to adopt my dad. I'm not sure if adoption of a stepchild was necessary to establish a family relationship. She married my grandfather (my dad's father) in 1925 so, I'm not sure how Michigan law viewed children of a previous marriage in that time.

    His stepmother had no will or property in probate. Her brother's sons (her nephews) filed for "Power of Attorney" over her medical needs and finances in the early 80's. They signed over to themselves all the real estate that she owned and liquidated everything that they could, had her committed to a rest home and paid her bills until she passed in
    1992. Since they were co-owners with rights of survivorship over this liquidated property, there was no need to probate her estate when she passed away.

    I probated my father's estate. He died intestate in 1981. I was named executor. If step children are considered heirs in Michigan, would I have the "right" to file a claim on my father's estate's behalf to recover this property?

    I also wonder if her nephews power of attorney ended when she passed away? I have no idea where her nephews are or even what their full names would be so, tracking them down would an immense challenge.

    Thanks, if you can clarify these issues for me and any suggestions on how I should proceed will be greatly appreciated!

    Chris

  • #2
    Unless the stepchild was included in a will, no, they are not heirs.
    I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

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    • #3
      http://courts.co.calhoun.mi.us/note0016.htm
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