Do we have to go through probate if my husband has been declared next of kin?

My husband’s uncle passed away. He was preceded in death by his parents, only

brother and niece survive. He does have kids but no one knows how to find them not even the VA. So how do we go about closing his accounts and stopping his Social Security and filing for his life insurance?

Asked on August 21, 2018 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. Yes, you will still have to go through Probate.  The legal requirements by the Probate Court are different than the VA.  Your husband should file to be come the Personal Reprensetative of his Intestate Estate (died without a Will).  You are going to have to file affidavits as to trying to get in touch with his children (likely you will have to publish notices of the intent to file for probate).  The accounts are frozen and will be until a PR is appointed and SS should stop when the VA notifies them of the death.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.