Please help me deal with my father's sudden passing.
June 8, 2009 11:57 AM Subscribe
My (estranged) father just died. I don't know if he left a will. What are my next steps?
posted by haplesschild to Law & Government (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I think I need to preface this by saying that when faced with a huge situation, my brain goes into practical mode, so here I am sitting on the bed after a cryfest, trying to get my ducks in a row and concentrate on some facts so I know what to expect.
I found out my father died today. I have not seen him in about 20 years, and I talked to him maybe 2 years ago. As of right now we have no idea if he left a will. He died in Arizona, where he had just moved. Currently his body is with the coroner, who is expected to declare the cause of death.
I am his only child. He has never remarried. He has one sister, and a father who is in a nursing home.
I don't live anywhere near Arizona, but I can get off from work to go down there, but only for a few days. He has a space in the family plot in Kansas, and from talking to the coroner, getting him cremated would be the best option because I was told his body was not found in good condition.
I guess my question is what steps do I take? I read some other askmefi answers, and a lot of those start with "get a lawyer"... and I really don't have the money to, nor do I know what/if he has anything. I'm really nervous that I will have to pay his bills, or rent, when I just don't have the means right now to handle it.
He was renting an apartment- do I need to go down and clean it out, and am I allowed to take anything, or does it go into storage while the courts deal with it? Where do I begin looking to see if he filed a will? In the next 24-72 hours is there anyone who needs to be called (besides family)?
I am kind of overwhelmed and I don't know what needs to be done, and it is awkward since it has been so long since seeing him. Any help you can give me, or a "checklist for only children of deceased absentee fathers" would be great.