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Jack R.
Jack R., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6147
Experience:  OH/TX Practicing Attorney focusing on Family Law, Foreclosure, Landlord-Tenant Issues.
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My father is a professional, has money, and a good job. I am

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My father is a professional, has money, and a good job. I am 25 and have not been able to put myself through school because I have been struggling to make a living. My mother died when I was 15. I'm sure she had a savings because she worked as a Dental Hygienist and she must have had life insurance. This family event ruined my family. I do not keep in touch with my Dad and have changed my last name legally to remove the family name. Can I take my Dad to court to demand a discovery to investigate what happened to my mother's money? I'm am stuck and I need answers. Thanks for you advice in advance, Melissa

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What State did your mother live in ?


Was there a Will ?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Virginia, I'm not aware of a formal Will, however, there was a form she had to fill out at the hospital that basically forced her to write a last minute Will

Given that you mother has been deceased for 10 years it is unlikely you could get formal discovery. Contesting a WIll distribution usually has to be done within a year. By now most of the documentation would have disappeared. What you can do is go to the county probate court to see if your mother's estate went through probate. You can examine all documents including any document submitted as a will. You can determine if any money was left to you in the Will.

If your mother did not have a Will then under Virginia law your father would be entitled to the entire estate, all assets of your mother (assuming all children of Wife are also of husband). So if there was no Will you have no inheritance under the Virginia intestacy laws.

Your mother may have had a life insurance policy. If you were a beneficiary then an account must have been set up for you to hold you funds. The check would have been made out to you. If you were not listed as a beneficiary then you would not be entitled to any money from the life insurance. In most cases for employer based life insurance the spouse is made the beneficiary.

You should ask your father if your mother had a life insurance policy and whether any benefits under that policy were for you. You should also ask if a trust was set up with any of the money from your mother's estate or insurance.

If you determine there were funds bequeathed to you, or part of an insurance distribution you can sue the executor for failing to give you the funds.

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