Q: My dad recently passed and did not have a will, what should I do?
– Feeling Lost
A: Dear Lost:
First, make sure you have checked *absolutely* everywhere for a will. There’s a chance it’s hidden somewhere or was made years ago and then forgotten in a file cabinet somewhere. Go through your father’s contacts and see if you can get in touch with any lawyers, accountants, or financial advisors of his. See if your dad had a safety deposit box as well.
If you still can’t find a will, you’ll need to gather any tax returns or financial statements to piece together what his assets were at his time of death. You should also check laws in your father’s state regarding inheritance. If your father’s spouse is still alive, the two most likely possibilities are that (a) the estate will pass to them or (b) the estate will be divided between the spouse, you, and your father’s other children.
Whether or not you encounter speed bumps in working out what your inheritance may be, not having a will to guide you is definitely not ideal. Don’t go through it alone. All you have to do is contact a Personal Family Lawyer® and they’ll help you navigate the process.