How could I find out if I was entitled to anything in my father's estate? 14 Answers as of August 07, 2015

When I was 13, in 1980, my father passed away. At that time, I was living in another state with my mother, while my father had been living in one state with my older brother, who was 21. My brother told me that my father left everything to his girlfriend and her children and that I was not left anything. Shortly after, my brother and his wife moved into my dad's girlfriend's home and my brother got a brand new truck. I have always found the entire situation to be suspicious. How can I find out what happened to my fathers estate, and what can I do if I was entitled to money but did not receive anything?

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Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Check with the probate court that handled your father's will and estate. It may still have records regarding how the estate was settled.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/7/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
1980 was 35 years ago. It is extremely unlikely that any assets of your father's were preserved so that you would have a valid claim today. If you want to find out what happened with his estate, get a copy of the probate file from the court. That will show you the details of the assets, income and distribution of the estate.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/6/2015
Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
1. You were absolutely entitled to notice of any proceedings. Ask your mother if she got any notice or knows anything about all this. 2. If there was a probate, you could see the court records, including a copy of any will. (If there was not will, you would have been entitled to a half.) 3. Check the title history of the home. It will show who owned it at the time of your father's death, and what happened after that. If it was in a trust or was held in joint tenancy you will know that. If it went through probate, you'll find that out.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/6/2015
Robert E. Giffin | Robert E. Giffin CPA
Check the probate court file in the county where your father died.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/6/2015
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
Given the best of your time and be extremely unlikely that you can do anything except find out that you were improperly deprived of some property, but that you will be unable to recover it now. Close the chapter and save the money.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/6/2015
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    In Maryland, the probate estate proceedings are a public record so you can go to the Register of Wills office in that county and view the estate file. If you were entitled to distribution from the probate estate then you should have been notified as a legatee/heir.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    If your dad?s estate had been probated, there will be records more than likely in the circuit court county where your father was residing at the time of his death. It has been over 25 years since his death, so there might be a delay if there was a probate. However, if there was no probate, there is no way that you can find out whether you were left something in your dad?s will or not.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    First thing you can do is check the probate court files in the county where you father resided when he died. They are public records and their purpose is provide information to you. If there was not a probate, you can check the land title records and vehicle records.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    You can do a search in the Court located in the County of death. If there was a probate there will be a file.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    You might look at the will.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    In order to leave assets to a girlfriend and others not his descendants you father would have had to had a will and probate of the assets. You should be able to see the Will and the estate file in the probate records for the County in which your father lived at the time of his death. As a child of the decedent you should have been entitle to a Child' claim even if not provided for in the Will. Since you were only 13 your mother would have had to file the claim on your behalf.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Seek the service of a probate attorney to investigate for you in the area where your father had his estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    It may be too late to do anything about it, since you turned 18 almost 30 years ago, but you can find out if an estate was opened by checking the court records in the county where he died. Once you know that, you can decide if you need to consult with an attorney. Also you may want to check with the unclaimed property division (county or state) in the state where he died and the state where you resided at the time. Best of luck to you. This is opinion is solely based upon the facts presented in the inquiry. Additional facts may be important and may change the analysis. If you are uncertain, seek legal counsel. We are not your attorneys. This answer is being offered to assist you in determining if you need to retain legal counsel to assist you, not to resolve your issue through an email inquiry.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    If your father's estate went through probate, you could check the court files for the county he lived in, order the file from the archives, and review it. If it didn't go through probate, honestly, after 35 years it doesn't seem likely that many traces will be left. Any real property you could do a title search and find out to whom it was transferred when your father passed away. Probably most other records will be lost. You could contact a private investigator.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/6/2015
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