What to do if my father died 2 years ago without a Will?

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What to do if my father died 2 years ago without a Will?

He had remarried and had 2 more children but divorced that wife. They were on again/off again up until his death yet never remarried. He had a life insurance policy that my uncle (dad’s brother) was given power of attorney on. I just found out about it because I wasn’t included, however my half-brother let it slip because he says his mom has mishandled the money. My uncle divided it by paying himself back for money my dad owed him and then divided the rest between my half-brother.

Asked on March 22, 2013 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you think that you were entitled to share of your father's estate, then you would still be able to file for a probate of his estate, even if there was not a will.  In Texas, probate laws provide for a division of property between children and surviving spouses.  If he and his former spouse divorced, then the estate should be divided among his children--which would include you.  The exception to this rule would be items that pass automatically like joint accounts (which pass to the survivor) and insurance policies (which pass to the designated beneficiary).  If you were named as a beneficiary of the life insurance policy, then you would be entitled to a portion of that policy.  If you are not sure whether or not you were named and/or you think there are assets of your father's estate that need to be distributed or accounted for, then consult with a probate attorney to help you get the probate process moving.


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