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How do my brother and I found out if our Father left us money when he died?

Yonkers, NY |

My Father passed away in California in 2009-Before he passed he told my brother and I that he indeed made sure that my brother and I would be financial secure after his passing. We don't know how he left these funds-(Living Trust?, Will?)Our mother is still alive but is too senile for a coherent conversation on the matter. What can we do? and...What are the time constraints for us to locate any funds?

Attorney Answers 3


Locate your father's financial records such as statements from banks, stock brokerage statements, bank books, insurance policies, will if any, tax returns and bring them to an attorney to review. If you know your father's attorney that would also be a good source of information. Good luck.

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I agree that finding his attorney would be a good place to start. It doesn't sound like a will was probated but you could check with the county where he died to determine if his will was probated there or not. Reviewing his financial records and contacting those institutions might be a good place to look as well - especially if you are possibly a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, etc. It may also be that your mother is entitled to funds that were never taken so you can help her with that as well.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:

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I also concur with the other attorney's above, I think that either finding his Attorney or his financial records is a good start. I would also look to your mother, while she may not be coherent, her financial records, or papers are a good place to see if some money was left to her, which is going to pass to you, or if there might be a life policy on her life, I would call the same company and inquire about your father. Generally, my experience is that husbands and wives tend to have policy's with the same company, so it is worth a shot.

This answer is a free service to you, and the general public based on limited facts specific only to your issue, and may not apply in every situation. To assure that your situation does not differ from the answer provided above, you should immediately consult a licensed attorney in your state with all the relevant facts and details regarding your specific concerns. Please note, this forum is not a place to communicate all the details, as this forum is public and it could limit your rights in the future. This is not an opinion under the Government Regulations contained in IRS Circular 230, which regulate written opinions about Federal tax matters. This is not such a written opinion, it is an other written communication, and was not written to be relied upon, by itself, to avoid any tax penalties. In order to receive assurances of protection from tax penalties from a written communication, you should get an opinion letter. If you would like to discuss an opinion letter relating to any matter, please contact me and I will explain what is involved and what it will cost.

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