How do i find info on life ins policy and possession to next of kin

My kids are age 37 and age 29. Their father passed away 6/1/2017. My son is in jail and my daughter wants nothing to do with inheritance. There are personal items that father sister has possession of. 3 vehicles that are unaccounted for and no Will that we know of. How to proceed?

Asked on September 5, 2017 under Estate Planning, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You do not indicate you are married to your children's father. If unmarried and your children are, as you indicate, adults, there is likely nothing you can do: an unmarried adult, even if she had now-adult children together with someone else, does not receive anything under "intestate succession", or the rules for who receives what whe a person dies without a will. Not standing to inherit unless and only if named specifically in a will or in life insurance policy--which you evidentally have not proof of or information about--you do not have "standing," or a legal right, to get involved in his estate. Your children could, if they chose: the fact that they stand to inherit if there is no will disinheriting them, gives them a right to get involved in the estate. They could voluntarily help you find information--but you can't force them to do so, and again, you have no right to act on your own behalf if you and he were not married when he passed.
IF you have items of yours at his home or otherwise in his possession when he died, if those items belonging to you are not voluntarily returned, you could sue for their return or for their value. (You sue the estate and name the administrator or personal representative in the suit.) You'd have to be able to prove your ownership of the things you are suing over.

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