My aunt and uncles wanted me to contact an estate attorney regarding this matter. I figured I'd ask Avvo before pursuing this.
My father remarried when when I was a child. He passed a few yeas ago. In the last years of his life, he did tell me that I was a beneficiary in his will.(I don't know for certain if there was a will or not)
However, I was never contacted regarding his estate. I believe everything passed to his wife, who passed a year later. Everything then passed to her heirs.
As my fathers only biological child do I have a claim to his estate?
No attorney is able to answer this question outright. The first of many questions that would need to be answered is, "Did Dad have a will?" If yes, was the Will ever presented to Probate? Then there is a litany of other questions any competent attorney would ask. There is no rule or law that requires a child have an inheritance so if you were not contacted regarding a Probate petition, odds are that either dad didn't have a will leaving you anything.
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I can give you a better answer than you have received so far. I would check the county in which your father lived and in which he passed-the office of the county Surrogate--and see if any will was filed there or any other probate proceedings. Let's be honest--of all the areas of the law including commercial and corporate and securities law that brings out the most mercenary instincts in human beings is estates and trust--it is viewed often as "found money" to which one is entitled and the more $$$ is at stake the greater lengths people will go to get it.
Try that first--having said that I strongly suggest you get a free consultation with an AVVO attorney--when I have been consulted in the past, I have told the AVVO asker--there are certain things better not mentioned here because all kinds of people troll this area of the site. Bottom Line: it may be worth your while to have a lawyer. Good question.
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