My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: Ohio
The individual who died was a single, never-married father of two.
There is no will or trust.
The two biological children have different mothers.
The two biological children are minors.
Following the death, the deceased's father (in cooperation with the deceased's biological siblings) has assumed control over the deceased's single-family home and assets inside. By "assuming control," I mean the father has: acquired the keys to the property and has been visiting the property often; been deciding who can enter the property and when; allowing or not allowing certain people to remove property from the home, including telling one of the mothers of one of the father's children she couldn't remove property that the deceased bought for the child they have together.
The brother has been directly observed (by me) removing items from the property while the father was present. By full disclosure, it is not know if the items are the brother's and were in possession of the deceased or if they were the property of the deceased and the brother is taking possession of them. The point is the father permitted it to take place.
A few questions...
Under Ohio law, aren't the descendants of the deceased first in line to receive the property in probate?
While it's reasonable that access to the property is in some way controlled or prevented to preserve order pending probate, should that authority automatically pass to the father?
What can the mothers do now to protect the deceased's assets on behalf of the deceased's minor children?
What steps are necessary to discover the amount of equity, if any, is in the property, and what steps do the mother's take to protect that equity on behalf of the minor children (such as making interim mortgage payments, etc.)?