I'm sorry for your loss. It is best to start with her estate planning documents (Will, Trust,etc.). If your mother was survived by a spouse, he would be the one to speak with about this. If she was a widow, then your siblings should coordinate their efforts and retain an attorney to assist with the administration of her estate, as necessary.
Answers to questions on this site are not intended to be specific legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship. Hiring an attorney is a very important process which requires a high degree of diligence as well as entering into an agreement regarding the services to be provided and the fees to be charged.
The hardest part of handling an estate is finding the assets. I would search her home (but not alone) looking for her check book, monthly financial statements and especially the last five years of income tax returns. The returns will show any dividends and interest that was paid to her. Also the name of the broker dealer will appear on the 1099s. Lastly, I would have the mail forwarded to one of you. We once received a statement form a bank addressed to the decedent saying that a $100,000+ CD was coming up for renewal. Good luck!
Ask who she lived with about this. Where did she live? Who did she live with? What assets do you know that she owned? There are many, many questions that you will have to try to get the answers to.
R. Jason de Groot, Esq., 386-337-8239
I would suggest hiring a probate attorney in the county where your mother was domiciled when she passed away. If you are not aware of any Will or Trust, a local attorney can sometimes inquire with other local attorneys through the local court and bar association. An attorney could also file a Caveat on your behalf so if a probate is opened, you and your siblings are notified. Try and find out what assets she had and how the assets were titled....where will the mail be forwarded? Best of luck and very sorry for your loss.