Be sure the original will you have is placed in a safe location. Safe means in a safety deposit box or in a fire-proof safe at home. The last thing that is desired after a person dies is to find that the will is missing.
DPW may make claims only against probate property of Mom’s, and because she apparently had none, there is nothing to make a claim against. The claim can’t be against Dad because he is dead, he died before Mom and all he gave Mom was a life estate.
Another reason for doing an appraisal is to place a value on items of personal property so that the children of the decedent may use the appraisal provided by a neutral party to assist in the division of the personal property assets. Thus, one child will know that if they receive a diamond ring and it has a value of $5,000, then another child should receive a like value of items in the distribution of the estate.