What needs to be done legally if my brother-in-law died a week ago?

UPDATED: Dec 19, 2013

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What needs to be done legally if my brother-in-law died a week ago?

He passed away in his home and no one in the family knows if her had a Will or where it might be. What should be done? Also, is there a specific length of time all family members should legally be notified?

Asked on December 19, 2013 under Estate Planning, Indiana


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

At this point, you need to check his mail or see if anyone was named executor of his will and knows he or she is the person in charge. If no one knows check his mail and see if there is anything like bank statements. Contact the bank and see if he informed the bank of a will or beneficiary. Check around the house for an area where he kept his important paperwork to see if there is a copy. If not, the estate will need to be probated which means it will go by whomever is the next of kin and so forth.

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