What ca I do if I recently found out that my father passed away and he was remarried but his wife did not inform my brother or I?

What I need to know is do we have any rights to my father’s estate? As far as I know he did not have a Will. I feel that his wife purposely kept his passing to herself, no funeral, memorial, or obituary. When I inquired where he was buried she said he had been cremated. What I can do?

Asked on July 2, 2012 under Estate Planning, West Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  If your Father died with out a Will then he died "intestate" and the intesacy laws in your state will apply. If he jand his new wife held everything jointly - bank accounts, property, etc. - then they passed to her automatically upon his death.  Any proceeding would have been filed in the probate court in the county in which he resided at the time of his death.  That is a good place to start.  The proceeding is a public record.  Depending on what you find you may then wish to seek legal consultation to figure out your options.  Good luck.


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