Parent left large death benefit. Surviving parent has withheld all funds to keep for self. Is there a way for the children to find out what is entitled to them? Or can the surviving parent continue to spend erratically on self-pampering?
Find the will.
Figure out whether the death benefit was actually a beneficiary designation. If surviving spouse was the beneficiary, then the funds are not necessarily being wrongly withheld.
In absence of will, bring an administration proceeding.
Bring an accounting proceeding.
Was the money supposed to be held "in trust" for the children? By children you do not mean minors or children under disability correct? If everyone is an adult and competent how will these children prove that their father is required to distribute anything to them?
If the death benefit was payable by a company or government entity or other institution, then contact that party to determine whether you or parent's estate is the beneficiary and whether the benefit has been paid. Maybe that party will tell you to whom it was paid. The administrator of your parent's estate can obtain that information and the court may compel the administrator to provide you with the information; but you may need to engage a lawyer to help you.
These comments do not constitute legal advice. They are general comments on the circumstances presented, and may not be applicable to your situation. For legal advice on which you may rely consult your own lawyer.
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