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How do I find out if any money was left to me like I was told by my father.Edward J.Peters

Dighton, MA |

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Attorney Answers 4

  1. Unfortunately, your question does not provide enough information to give you a truly meaningful answer, i.e. date and location of death, whether he executed a Will, if there was a surviving spouse, the nature of the promised bequest, etc. In most states, though, you would need to contact the executor or personal representative of the estate for this information. If you don't know who that person is, you could check with the probate court of the county in which your father died to see if probate has been opened in order to determine who you should contact. I would also make sure that the person/person's most likely to have knowledge of this matter have current contact information for you.

    Legal Disclaimer: James A. Littlepage is licensed to practice law in Colorado, and as such, his answers to Avvo inquiries are based on his understanding of Colorado law only. His answers are for general information about perceived legal issues within this question only and no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to extend any right of confidentiality between you and Mr. Littlepage, to constitute legal advice, or create an attorney/client or other contractual relationship. An attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement including an evaluation of the specific legal problem and review of all the facts and documents at issue. We try to insure the accuracy of this information, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. Laws change quickly, and the reader should always insure that legal information of any kind is up to date and accurate before relying on it. The reader should never assume that this information applies to his or her specific situation or constitutes legal advice. Therefore, please consult competent counsel that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances.

  2. As James stated, more information would result in a more direct answer, but a first step should be to contact any relatives in close contact with your father. They may know whether he had a will. If he did, his executor would be able to tell you if anything was left to you. If he did not, your father would have died 'intestate' which means his assets would be divided accorded to MA law. Depending on whether he left a surviving spouse you may be entitled to a portion of his estate. His estate will need to go through probate in order to effectuate this.

  3. Look through his mail.
    Look at his old tax returns.
    Ask his friends.
    Check with the unclaimed property website.

    It is sad but true that very very frequently parents will tell children things that are not true about their estate planning.

  4. Probate (the process of making a will effective) is a public process. You can go to the probate court of the county where he was living when he died and look it up. If there is no record there of his will having been probated, he may have owned all his property jointly or in trust. In that case, you may be out of luck if you do not hear from a trustee.

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