If my father has recently passed away and I am not on the greatest of terms with his wife, how can I find out if he left me anything?

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If my father has recently passed away and I am not on the greatest of terms with his wife, how can I find out if he left me anything?

He has 2 surviving children, my brother and I. He has 2 insurance policies, as well as a 401k with the company that he was employed at for almost 20 years. I do not know if my father had a Will or whether or not myself or my sibling are beneficiary on anything. How can I find out? If not, are we entitled to anything?

Asked on January 2, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If your father died without a Will, then you and your brother would be his legal heirs. This means that along with his wife, you two would share in his estate according to specific state law. However, the proceeds of a 401k and insurance policies are not estate assets; they are paid out to the listed beneficiaries.
If your father did have a Will, then as a family member you are what is known as an "interested party", so therefore have a right to see it. However, the same rules as to 40lk's and life insurance proceeds apply.
Note: If the Will has already been entered into probate, then it is a matter of public record and anyone can obtain a copy.


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