A 67 (+/-) year old male friend died in a Houston, Texas hospital on 28 June 2013. He had no known living relatives. He was an extremely private person. Several of us who knew him for up to 30 years believe he had served a 6-year tour in the US Air Force during the Vietnam war. We have slowly and painstakingly learned his SSN and DOB -- and that his estate consists of a condo he owned, a car, and a retirement account.
The hospital where he died apparently only had his wallet, home and car keys -- no other documents. They turned the body over to the funeral home that has a County contract
for pauper burials. It has been embalmed, and presumably will be buried as a pauper since nobody has produced documentation of his veteran status.
We, the friends, would want to have access to the condo to look for a will, DD Form 214, and whatever other documents may be present there. None of us has any known interest in his belongings, other than perhaps books and personal papers.
We have been told that the funeral home has an attorney who is handling everything.
How can we gain legal access to the premises to search for those documents? We hope to ensure our friend has a proper, dignified funeral, that his wishes are followed, and that his estate will not be consumed for legal and funeral expenses (plus the State) if he had other plans.