Question about mother’s will

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Question about mother’s will

I am going through a little trouble. See, my mother just passed on this past Monday, and I’m pretty definite sure had a Will. We had discussed it with another strong a year or so ago. Now that she had passed, her boyfriend and sisters deny the Will. The sisters decided to take over she plan funeral arrangements without my knowledge seeing how I am the daughter. I am clueless and am feeling betrayed. I’m not sure where to start or have any clue what to do.

Asked on April 14, 2018 under Estate Planning, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If your mother had a Will then it controls just how her estate is to be distributed. However, you may or may not be listed as a beneficiary since a parent may disinherit a child. Further, certain assets pass outside of probate and are payable directly to the beneficiary who is listed on them (i.e. pensions, IRS's, 401k's, etc.). If you want to see if she had a Will, then you can check if one was filed with the county probate court. If not, then assuming that you have already questioned her friends and other family members, see if your mother had a safety deposit box. If that's not successful, then go through any papers you can find in file cabinets, desk drawers, etc. If you still don't find a Will, then contact any other advisers that she may used such as a financial planner or accountant who may know something. Finally, if there is no Will, then your mother died "intestate". This means that her estate goes to her next of kin which would be her surviving spouse, if any, and to her children. If your mother did not have a husband at the time of her death and you are her only child, then her entire estate belongs to you.

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If your mother had a Will then it controls just how her estate is to be distributed. However, you may or may not be listed as a beneficiary since a parent may disinherit a child. Further, certain assets pass outside of probate and are payable directly to the beneficiary who is listed on them (i.e. pensions, IRS's, 401k's, etc.). If you want to see if she had a Will, then you can check if one was filed with the county probate court. If not, then assuming that you have already questioned her friends and other family members, see if your mother had a safety deposit box. If that's not successful, then go through any papers you can find in file cabinets, desk drawers, etc. If you still don't find a Will, then contact any other advisers that she may used such as a financial planner or accountant who may know something. Finally, if there is no Will, then your mother died "intestate". This means that her estate goes to her next of kin which would be her surviving spouse, if any, and to her children. If your mother did not have a husband at the time of her death and you are her only child, then her entire estate belongs to you. 


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