Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. I encourage you to ask me for clarification, if you are not clear with my Answer.
Could you explain a little more?
Did your mother have a Will?
Was her estate probated?
If so, didn't you receive a notice of the probate proceedings?
Who is the executor of the estate?
Does the estate have a probate attorney?
As far as I know my parents never had wills, my dad died 6 months prior to my mom, but my half brother said my mom had one that listed him as the executor. I dont know if anything has gone to probate, I have recieved no notifications of any kind. I am totally clueless 600 miles away from the situation in Virginia.
Thank you for the additional information:
Your Question: I believe my family has hidden inheritance from me, how do I find out everything my mom had in monetary terms such as bank accounts, CD's, savings bonds, etc?
Response: If you parents never had Wills, then no one should be listed as the Executor of the Estate. So, the information you are getting from your half-bother is not correct. If there are no Wills, then any interested party must petition the Court for his/her appointment as the Administrator of the Estate. So, if your half-brother is saying that he was listed as an Executor, it implies that there is Will . So, you need to press your half brother for more information: Why was he appointed as an Executor of the Estate when there was not Will and who appointed him as the Executor and when? What are the assets of the Estate and what has he done with them? As the Executor/Administrator of the Estate he has a fiduciary duty to you as one of the beneficiaries of the Estate to tell you what is going with your mother's assets. Otherwise, you may consider retaining a local (where your mother resided before she passed away) probate lawyer to deal with him. You can find local probate lawyers at the following sites:
Searching for a decedent's unknown assets from scratch ranges from extremely difficult to impossible. If you know where she did her banking, and can convince a branch manager to disclose information regarding a decedent without opening an estate first, that is about the only way to discover the information you seek. That's difficult to do from 600 miles away, so you will probably need the assistance of a local attorney.
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