How can I find out if I have an inheritance?

My father passed away. I suspect the executor, my sister, maybe withholding my inheritance. She has done it before with my uncle. Also, my wife’s family did it to her.

Asked on September 5, 2017 under Estate Planning, Florida


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can check to see if your father's Will was entered into probate. If it was already filed, then it is now a matter fo public record which means that you (or anyone else) has a right to see it. If it has not yet been filed, you can still obtain a copy. This is because in the eyes of the law you are what is known as an "interested party". That is someone who would have inherited if there had there been no Will (pursuant to something known as "intestate succession"). Accordingly, since whether or not a Will existes affects your rights, you have a stake or "standing" in this. This stake is sufficient enough to give you the right to bring a legal action to view the Will. If in fact, it is determined that your father did not have a Will, then he died "intestate" which means that as his heir you are entitled to a portion of his estate.

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