My mother died-leaving my father as executor and me 3rd….

He has since sold the house and we don’t know what happened with our mother’s belongings…etc…what can we do?

Asked on June 29, 2009 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can start at the office of the Surrogate, in the county where your mother last made her home.  This should be relatively easy to find, it will either be at the courthouse or, more usually these days, in one of the county administration buildings nearby.  A copy of her will should be on file there, and you should be able to get a copy for a small fee.  Don't count on the copy of a will you might have gotten during her lifetime, because she might have made a later one that you didn't know about.

If your father was named in the will not only as being the executor, but as the one who would get everything if he was still alive, that's almost certainly the end of the story.  Otherwise, you should consider talking to an attorney about what, if anything, you can do, based on all of the facts of the case.  One place to find a lawyer is our website,

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.