What to do if I’m going to probate my step-father’s estate but I just found out at his funeral that he has 2 long lost daughters that nobody knew about?

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What to do if I’m going to probate my step-father’s estate but I just found out at his funeral that he has 2 long lost daughters that nobody knew about?

They live in another state and did not come to the funeral. I do not know how to contact them. Apparently they have not had any contact with my step-father in 30 plus years. What lengths do we have to go to in an attempt to locate them? My mother is also deceased.

Asked on March 18, 2013 under Estate Planning, Oklahoma

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  I would speak with an attorney in your area as soon as you can.  Is there a Will?  I surely hope so because if not then the intestacy statutes apply and generally speaking step children are not a class of beneficiaries that inherit under the law.  His daughters will inherit regardless of their relationship.  Now, if there is a Will then your state law will govern how he has to disinherit then for it to be valid under a Will contest.  Generally speaking you have to do "due diligence" in locating them and then probably have to publish the intent to probate in a paper that they would likely see it in.  What due diligence is depends on the circumstances.  Good luck. 


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