How can I find out if I’m entitled to inherit from my late father’s estate?

My father recently died. I had not seen or spoken to him in 20 years or more. He has no other children and his wife is also dead. Do I have any claim to his estate? I don’t know if he had a Will or not. If there was a Will I would not have been included. What can I do?

Asked on February 2, 2013 under Estate Planning, Maryland


Victor Waid / Law Office of Victor Waid

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If your father has an estate, obtain yourself probate counsel to file a petition into probate court and to prove you are his heir entitled to receive his estate, whether he had a will or not.

Paula McGill / Paula J. McGill, Attorney at Law

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

First, go the probate court in the county where your father last resided.  See if his will has been probated.  If not, you can try to be appointed administrator of the estate.  The forms are on the Maryland register of wills website.  If he doesn't have any other children and did not get remarried, you would inherit his net estate.  As the administrator, you will have to collect his assets and liabilities, and pay off his liabilities with those assets in the order set out by law.  If there are assets remaining thereafter, you will be entitled to those remaining assets.

Also licensed in Maryland.


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