How do I know if my grandmother left me in her Will if the person she was living with for 30 years eliminated me from her life by not telling me she was sick and died?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How do I know if my grandmother left me in her Will if the person she was living with for 30 years eliminated me from her life by not telling me she was sick and died?

The person my grandma lives with for 30 years did not seem to like me nor get along with me. He was always jealous of my father and I. he made things extremely difficult when I would visit my grandmother who raised me she was like my mother. She passed away 6 months ago and she had a service which he failed to mention to me, as well has not mentioning me in her obituary. Whenever I would call to speak with her, he told me that she was in the bathroom but that he would tell her I called. He’s then try to say that they wanted to move on with their lives and did not want me to bother them anymore when I last spoke to my grandmother she told me that was not true which at least I can be at peace with. They were having problems and she was not happy having him there she told me in confidence she did not trust him. Where do I go from here? How do I find out if there is anything she wanted need to do for her or that she wanted me to have?

Asked on November 30, 2018 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The only way to find out if there was a will--assuming that no one else (e.g. some trusted friend) has a copy and provides one to you--would be to file a lawsuit in chancery court (a part or division of county court) as a potential heir (someone who might inherit if there was no will, if your father has passed away [otherwise, *he*, not you, may stand to inherit if there is no will] and who reasonably believes that he would be named in any will) against your grandmother's "estate" (what she left being), seeking disclosure of any will(s) and to make sure that you are given what you may be entitled to. Note that such a suit is not guaranteed to work, of course: there may be no will; there may have been a will, but it may have been long lost; there may be a will but you may not be left anything in it; etc. Therefore, you'd have to commit to filing the lawsuit, which is the only way to seek information about the will, before knowing if doing so would be successful. Note also that a lawsuit like this is substantially more complex than, say, a small claims lawsuit, so you would want to hire a probate attorney to help you.

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.

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