If my mother passed away 5 years ago and there was never any mention of a Will, how can I find out if I’m entitled to anything?

UPDATED: Feb 22, 2012

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If my mother passed away 5 years ago and there was never any mention of a Will, how can I find out if I’m entitled to anything?

She owned our family home after a divorce from my father and was re-married. Her husband is still alive but I haven’t spoken to him since the service.

Asked on February 22, 2012 under Estate Planning, California


Genevieve Wall / Genevieve Wall, a Law Corporation

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1.  Probate - If there was a Will which was submitted to probate, you can look up the probate court for the county in which your mother lived at her death.   Do a google search (for example:  Orange County Superior Court).  Once you find that court's website, find the probate section or case access section, and look up the case.   If it is not available online, call the court and ask how to look up a probate case.    If there was a probate, and if you were mentioned in the Will, you should have received a Notice.

2.  Check on how title to the house was and is now held.   You can purchase a copy of the current deed to the house, and you can also get history of the title from before your mother died through the present, through online services (such as California Lot Book, Inc.).   Again, do a google search.   It should cost you around $20-40 for each copy.     If title was  in your mother's name alone at her death, and if no probate was opened, you can open one and get the process started (with our without a Will).

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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