My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: Pennsylvania
My father had three biological children..my older brother and sister, and myself. When I (the youngest child) was 11, my father remarried to a woman that had one biological child (a son)..my father never legally adopted him. My father worked very hard his entire life sweating his backside off on an assembly line for General Motors in New Jersey for 33 years and retired in the early 1980's. Upon retiring, my step mother talked him into moving to Pennsylvania where they purchased from the parents of my step mothers daughter-in-law a modest mobil home and 2 acres of land. My step mother absolutely HATED us 3 children of my father...and she got pleasure from letting that fact be known to all she could. As the result of her horrible hatred for us children, we more or less became very estranged from my father the last few years of his life. She made the lives of us kids so horribly unhappy and miserable that we couldn't wait to move out of the house. My brother was 6 years older than me, and my sister was 5 years older...they both married and moved out while they were in their early 20's leaving me still living at home and trust me when I tell you that my step mother made life a nightmare for me with her hateful attitude and behavior..always making some kind of reference to "when I got married and moved out". A few months after I turned 18 I couldn't tolerate living in the same house with her and I moved in with my best girlfriend. We didn't go running back to my father telling him things she'd say or do...we didn't want to hurt him or upset him...he knew how she was...we all did and we'd just try to 'apease' her to avoid seeing and hearing one of her 'several day bitch fests' of slamming dishes down, slamming cabinet doors, talking in an ugly and angry tone when she did say something. When I tell you the simple mention of our names to or around my father even after we had all moved out would send her into one of these hateful rants, I'm NOT kidding. As a result of knowing how miserable our fathers life would be if we reached out to him, our contact with him gradually became less and less as we didn't want to be the 'fault' of him having to deal with our step mothers crap!
Northampton County, Pa. is where my father (and step mother) was living and died in April of 1984. At that time, my step mothers son (my step brother) was living in Florida with his wife and children. My father was a very good and decent man raised in the old school where you worked hard to get the things you wanted and needed without asking for any handouts. He was a quiet kind of man although he was physically very, very strong...he didn't like to do anything that someone might get mad at him about...he always taught us if you don't have anything nice to say to somebody that you don't say anything at all...he didn't like to 'ruffle any feathers' with anyone. The only thing he really asked for and expected from us kids was that we NEVER did anything that would give him reason to be embarrassed or ashamed about...so we always tried to live up to that expectation...even after his death. Well, as my step mother would have rather been set on fire than speak a word to any of we 3 kids of my Dad, after he was dead for about a year or so, we heard through the 'grapevine' that just a few short months after my father died she sold the mobil home and 2 acres my father paid for and she moved down to sunny Florida where she litterally bought a home right next door to her son and his wife and kids. She...our step mother..never let us know anything about it...and probably NEVER wanted us to know anything about it.
We children never persued any kind of legal action or contested anything after our father died...he was the kind of man that wouldn't have wanted us to 'ruffle any feathers' or cause any trouble for anyone, so we didn't. From the moment my step mother married my father, she never worked for so much as one minute outside the home...but my father sweat his backside off at General Motors for 33 years for them to have the things they had.
My father never liked her son (my step brother) although he was always good and kind to him because he was his wifes son, but when she wasn't around my father would refer to him as just "a punk". So after she destroyed our family and was the fault we went through most of our lives having a VERY LITTLE relationship with our father, my step mother sold the home and property my father worked darn hard to buy...took the money lock, stock and barrel...headed for Florida and bought a home right next door to her son!!!! It wasn't until a few years ago that I learned by searching the internet that my step mother finally died in 2005....so for the 21 years that passed after my father died she lived a quite comfortable middle class life on the money from the sale of the home and property my brother, sister and I had a legal entitlement to a portion of..but also collecting the social security check on my fathers name and work record, and the pension from General Motors he worked so very hard for 33 years of his life....while his 3 biological never got one single thing...not so much as an ink pen or a handkerchief or anything else!!!
I'd be willing to bet the blood in my veins that my step brother was the executor of my step mothers 'estate' upon her death, and that HE acquired the home she purchased and lived in right next door to him that was purchased with the money from the sale of the property MY FATHER paid for and his children most likely had a legitimate legal right or claim to when he died.
My brother and sister have both passed away and I am now the only living child of my fathers. My question is even after so many years has passed since my beloved father died, is there ANY legal recourse I have to try to seek whatever I would have been entitled to as my fathers biological child? Is there anything I can sue my step mothers estate or my step brother as her executor for??? Please tell me there is....as my fathers last surviving child I hate to live my life to my last breath feeling that my step brother...a man my father didn't even like..and he hated us kids too just because his mother hated us...in a round-about way is the one that ended up with what my father worked hard his entire life for..and that my step brother has pretty much enjoyed having a real good laugh at my siblings and I for getting NOTHING...nothing at all from my father after his death!!!
Thank you so very much for any advise you can offer me....this has genuinely become a very important matter to me at the age of 59 years old. I have recently contacted the probate department of the Northampton County, Pa. courthouse, and the lady I spoke to confirmed to me that my father DID NOT have a will recorded.