How can I find out if my father left me anything after his death?

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How can I find out if my father left me anything after his death?

He died 4 months ago. I need to know if my father’s wife is hiding anything from me that my father may have left when he died.

Asked on July 21, 2011 Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  If your Father dies with a Will then the Will would have been probated in the Probate Court in the county in which he resided at the time of his death.  The Will, once filed, is a matter of public record so you can go down and look at it.  As his child you should have gotten notice of the intention to offer the Will in to probate by the executor.  If your Father dies without a Will then he is said to have died intestate and an Administration proceeding would be filed in Probate court.  Here the intestacy statutes govern distribution of his estate and as his child you would receive a percentage. Again, you would be notified.  But if his assets were held jointly with his wife then there may not be an estate to probate.  If there was a life insurance policy and it had a properly executed designation of beneficiary form then it passes "outside the estate" directly to the beneficiary.  Start with the court records.  Good luck.


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