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Thanks for your question.
You are time barred from disputing the distribution of your mother's estate to you father unfortunately, an application to dispute a person's Will must be made within 6 months of the date of the grant of probate in the deceased's estate.
You may be able to make a claim on your father's estate (when he passes away) if you can show "reasonable financial provision" and make an application within 6 months of the date of the grant of probate, .
I note you say you are not sure if your father is alive or dead. You can check to see if a grant of probate has been obtained in his estate by searching the probate calender to see if one has yet been obtained and they pay a fee to receive a copy of it (a copy of your father's Will would also be attached to it). Follow the instructions on the following site:-https://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/1226.htm
If no grant has been obtained you could make a "standing search" of the calender, which will notify you and send you a copy of the grant if one is take out within 6 months of the date of the search:-https://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/1211.htm
If you then decide to make a claim then you should go and see a local solicitor. He will take your instructions then write to the executors to state that you are making a claim on the estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975
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It would be worth searching under his old name just in case.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no central registry that register's changes of name. They can be registered, but it is not a requirement to register in order to effect a change of names. There are lots of online services, you can google them, otherwise you may have to instruct an enquiry agent to do some investigative work on your behalf.
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