If I’m the only living biological next of kin, am I entitled to my late parents’ estate if no Will was filed through the court?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I’m the only living biological next of kin, am I entitled to my late parents’ estate if no Will was filed through the court?

I just found out my mother passed away last month. I was not informed; I was not on speaking terms for my mother dismissed everyone from her life. I was told there is no Will filed at the courthouse. I cannot get information on who is handling any of the estate or belongings.

Asked on May 17, 2016 under Estate Planning, Nebraska


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Just because a Will has not yet been filed doesn't mean that one does not exist. If she had a Will, then as her child your are considered to be an "interested party" and have a right to see it whether or not you are named in it; the eecutor should have notified you. However, assuming that she had no Will, then your mother is said to have died "intestate". This means that the laws of her state of domicile at her death will control. As her only living next of kin, you would be her sole heir. Since nothing has yet been filed with the probate court, there may well be no appointed personal representaive. Therefore, at this point, you should ask the court to appoint you. At that point,  you will be incharge of handling all adminstrative matters, such as paying her creditors, etc. After that, you can then distribute the aasets of her estate to the heirs (i.e. you).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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