If I think my partner of 8 years left me money in his Will but I know that his family will not contact me if he did, what should I do?

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If I think my partner of 8 years left me money in his Will but I know that his family will not contact me if he did, what should I do?

I lived with a doctor in St. Thomas, U.S. virgin islands for 8 years. His children did everything to harass and harm me. He died last month and I know he left me something but I don’t know how to get it and I don’t want to contact his

lawyer or family.

Asked on June 1, 2017 under Estate Planning, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The only way to proceed would be to sue your partner's estate (the legal entity created after he died to deal with his debts and distribute his assets). As someone with a reasonable belief that you may have been left something in a will, you should have standing, or a sufficient legal interest in the outcome as to file and bring a lawsuit. In the lawsuit, you could use the legal mechanisms or process of "discovery" (e.g. subpoenas; written interrogatories or questions; document production requests) to the family and other relevant parties (e.g. your partner's attorney or accountant, who may have information) to ascertain whether there was a will and, if so, get a copy of it. There is, unfortunately, no way other than a lawsuit to do this. You legally could proceed on your own ("pro se") without an attorney, but are *strongly* encourage to find a laywyer to help you.


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