When my father died, we received nothing. were we entitled to anything at all?

Probate Law: My father passed away June 16, 2004. I don't know if he had a will or testament. He and my mother divorced 2 years prior to his death. He was survived by his estranged father as well as his sister. My sisters and I received SS benefits until we turned 18 years old or graduated. My father had a life insurance policy, which we couldn't have been named beneficiaries on because we were never contacted about it. I was young when he passed (17) years old and have since wondered where or to whom the rest of his funds were distributed to. 401K, severance pay, etc...My mother never pursued anything for us, except SS which she took every dime of. We never received anything besides the SS, were we not entitled to any of his estate? His property, his home, his cars?  I cannot imagine him ever leaving everything to his father since they had never had a good relationship. I have contacted Anthem and they refused to give me any information as to who made the claim  his monies. I also contacted his place of employment for verifiable records to see who had name beneficiaries on anything he left, they say they can't release his file to me either. I can't fathom that my father left us with nothing. This is mind boggling, he loved us alot and he had to have to known that if he named my grandfather as beneficiary, we would have never received anything. He died such a long time ago, is there anything I can do? Any way I can find any information out?  Were we entitled to anything at all? We live in Indiana...Could there be a limit on how long you have file a claim on his things?


Asked over 7 years ago in Muncie, Indiana
Categories: Wills, Estates, Trusts

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terrence m rubino

Answer by terrence m rubino

VerifiedIndiana lawyer


First, you need to contact a reputable lawyer in the county where he died. If you don't have a name the county bar association probably has a referral list. In that county check with the clerk of court to see if a probate estate was opened. Anything he owned that did not have a joint owner or designated would have to be probated to be transferred legally.if there isn't or wasn't one it is a good indication he had joint owners or beneficiaries designated.  You certainly can hire a lawyer to open a probate to search assets but that could be a waste of your money depending mostly on what your dads financial resources were.  Hope this helps. Good luck.

Posted over 7 years ago

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