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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36195
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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I just discovered that my father that abandoned my mother

Customer Question

I just discovered that my father that abandoned my mother and five kids fifty years ago has died. Do I have a right to an inheritance) (if there is any,) how do I find out.
JA: Estate laws vary by state. What state are you in?
Customer: I'm in Texas but father died in Utah
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: What do you mean
JA: What confuses you?
Customer: I have a birth certificate, and so do my siblings also marriage license for my parents?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: My father left when I the oldest of five kids was ten. He paid child support I think, until the last child turned 18 but we never saw him again... until I looked him up about 15 years later We kept in touch for a couple of years but haven't seen him since 1985, he visited us at our home when his first grandchild was born. He was a pilot. His Obit says he died in Reno in 5/17/2016 it acknowledge my two dead brothers but not the remaining children.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Have you checked in the local county probate court in Utah to see if anyone has filed a probate case to settle his estate?.

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How were you notified that he had passed?.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No just found out today that he passed, not sure what the next step is?
I saw an on line obituary when working on a family tree project
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

Ok, the first thing to do is to contact the local probate court in the county where he lived and ask them if a probate case has been filed to settle his estate. If he just passed, then it is pretty unlikely as it would normally take at least a few weeks for someone to file.

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If he has a will in place, that controls who gets what. But if he passed without a will in place, you and your siblings would inherit some percentage of his estate as a matter of law. How much depends on if he was married at the time of death, and if he had other children.

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For example, if he had a spouse, but no other children, then the spouse gets the first $75,000 of the estate plus half of anything over that. You and siblings would split anything over $75K evenly between all of you.

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If no one has filed a probate case, then you will just need to check once a month or so to see if anyone has and then contact the executor/Adminstrator (if no will) and give them your contact information. If he had a will and he didn't make gifts to you and siblings, then there is not anything you can do to inherit. But if he did, the executor has to locate you all and deliver whatever gifts there were. If he passed intestate, then the Administrator has to locate all his children and notify them as well.

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There is a mandatory 3 month "creditor claims" period for creditors to make claims so a typical estate will take at least 4-6 months to settle at the minimum because taxes have to be filed, inventories, accountings, and clearances from the State and IRS obtained.

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Or if no one has filed a probate case after a month or two, you can file your own case to settle his estate in Utah and ask to be appointed Administrator. Then you would be in charge of locating and taking possession of all his assets and then paying any debts out of his assets, filing taxes, etc. and then eventually distributing any money to the heirs.

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thanks

Barrister