Help my friend find out if she can claim her inheritance.
May 11, 2009 8:46 AM Subscribe
My friend would like to know if is she is entitled to her father's and grandmother's properties, so I thought I'd submit her question to metafilter. Her father and grandmother have been deceased for several years now so she is unsure where to start looking for answers.
posted by somas1 to Law & Government (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is the full text of her question:
I am interested in how I can find out more about whether I am entitled to my father's and grandmother's property. Both are deceased. I'd like to know where I can go to find out certain information such as what I may be entitled to with regards to property, land, and veteran's benefits. Here are the facts:
My father was a Vietnam veteran. He and my mother were married but divorced shortly after I was born. He never paid child support until she went to court about it before I started college for help with expenses, and he made two $100 payments and no more. According to court papers, he owed around $20,000 in child support as of my 16th year (1996)
My father remarried a woman who had a (grown) child from a previous relationship, but he and his new wife never had any other children. As far as I know, I am his only child. He had one brother, now living in Germany, who has children, but I'm not sure how many, or any other information about them. As far as I know, they've been in Germany since I was a child.
My father lived in another state, so I only saw him every couple of years or so, in the summertime. He would take me to my great-grandmother's farm and tell me that it would belong to me one day. I was very close to them, closer than to my dad, I'd say.
My father died in 2000, shortly before his 50th birthday. My grandmother and great-grandmother had both passed the year before - 1999.
I was in college at the time of all their deaths, and did not wish to pursue any kind of estate entitlement at that time - I thought my father's wife would handle everything, and I didn't press it, considering she had just been widowed. We were never particularly close, but we had no problems with each other, either. However, I never heard anything more about it except one note not long after his death that she sent me regarding the sale of his truck.
As far as I know, here are the assets that my father had at the time of his death: the house that he and his wife shared. The house that my grandmother lived in (possibly). My great-grandmother's land, home, and belongings (he should have been at least a partial owner of that, with his brother). He most likely also had Veteran's benefits, and possibly SSI/Disability. As of today, I believe his wife still lives in the home that she shared with him, but I have no idea what happened to everything else.
I'm not particularly interested in getting his house, since his wife still lives there, but I am interested in my great-grandmother's land and property. I also don't particularly want my family's land and belongings to be left to his wife's daughter and her children. She's nice and all, but she was an adult when he married her mother, and was not raised by him, so I feel she has no real claim to it.
It's been several years now since he passed, and it's only recently that I've begun to really think about pursuing this information. I'd like to know what, if anything, I may be entitled to, and where is the best place I might go to find out all this information.