How do I find out if my father’s Will was accounted for after my stepmother died?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How do I find out if my father’s Will was accounted for after my stepmother died?

I am one of 7 children. My stepmother has 2 children. In my father’s Will he left everything to my

stepmother. Upon her death any remaining monies were to be split between all nine children. My stepmother died 3 weeks ago. We have t heard anything from her 2 daughters or a possible lawyer hired by my stepmother. I can only assume she has a Will. Are we going to be contacted or do we need to initiate some type of action?

Asked on September 21, 2017 under Estate Planning, New Mexico


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation as it is.  I am assuming that it was the terms of your Father's Will that said "everything to wife and remainder to 9 children" correct?  Once it passed to his wife (your step mother) she could do with it as she pleased unless they had a joint Will if your state permits same.  And generally step children do not inherit unless adopted and you are likely not entitled to notice of an estate proceeding since you are not parties that would inherit if she had no Will.  It seems a bit soon (3 weeks) to expect that if there is an estate to probate they will be doing it now.  They are likely still sorting through everything.  If there is an estate to be probated and they file same it is a public record and you can view the file in the County in which she resided at the time of her death.  I would suggest that if one of you has any relationship with any of her two children that they reach out in a few weeks.  If they shun you then you may have no other recourse.  Good luck.

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