Howto find out if my deceased father had a Will and/or life insurance?

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Howto find out if my deceased father had a Will and/or life insurance?

My dad passed away 1 /2 years ago at the age of 61 after battling multiple infections for 5 years. My sister and I are from his first marriage plus he has 2 other children from his second marriage. He always told us that he was worth more to us dead than alive, however since his passing his widow has never mentioned the first thing about a Will or any insurance policy. When she was asked about a Will she claimed he did not have one. She is not a trustworthy person so I am 99% certain this is not true. Is there any legal action that can be taken to determine if she somehow changed his documents to exclude my sister and myself? During his last 5 years he lost at least 3 years because he stayed so drugged up he didn’t know where he was half the time, so she had opportunity to change documents without arguement from my dad.

Asked on July 4, 2012 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You are going to need to get some help from an attorney if you feel that documents were altered while he was not mentally competant to do so.  If he died with a Will and it was probated then you can check to see in the probate court in the county in which he resided at the time of his death.  If she filed a proceeding with out a Will you can review it as well.  It is a public record.  Now, property held by the two of them jointly passed to her automatically at the time of his death and is not included in his estate.  If you have an idea which insurance company held his policy or policies then I would write a letter requesting that they send you the paperwork as you believe that you are the beneficiary.  If they respond that you are not speak to the attorney about making a clain or an interpleader.  Good luck.


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