If my mother passed away 5 years ago and there was never any mention of a Will, how can I find out if I’m entitled to anything?

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If my mother passed away 5 years ago and there was never any mention of a Will, how can I find out if I’m entitled to anything?

She owned our family home after a divorce from my father and was re-married. Her husband is still alive but I haven’t spoken to him since the service.

Asked on February 22, 2012 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

Genevieve Wall / Genevieve Wall, a Law Corporation

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1.  Probate - If there was a Will which was submitted to probate, you can look up the probate court for the county in which your mother lived at her death.   Do a google search (for example:  Orange County Superior Court).  Once you find that court's website, find the probate section or case access section, and look up the case.   If it is not available online, call the court and ask how to look up a probate case.    If there was a probate, and if you were mentioned in the Will, you should have received a Notice.

2.  Check on how title to the house was and is now held.   You can purchase a copy of the current deed to the house, and you can also get history of the title from before your mother died through the present, through online services (such as California Lot Book, Inc.).   Again, do a google search.   It should cost you around $20-40 for each copy.     If title was  in your mother's name alone at her death, and if no probate was opened, you can open one and get the process started (with our without a Will).


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