In this modern age, fractured families are considered to be the norm more than the exception. If a father passes away and has two sets of children, the first set of children may not know whether or not they have been named in the father’s will. If the relationship between mother and child fell apart towards the end of the mother’s life, the child may expect the mother to alter her will and remove the child from any inheritance.
The truth is that lack of contact or even a falling out later in life is not a guarantee that an will has been changed or an inheritance has been removed. If you have a loved one who has passed away and you are unsure about your inheritance status, then there are steps you can take to get an inheritance that is rightfully yours.
Hire a Lawyer
If you intend to be in touch with the probate court to determine an inheritance, then you should hire an experienced lawyer to do the talking and research for you. For one thing, your lawyer will know who to talk to and what to say to get the information you need. Your lawyer will also know how the very complicated probate situations work and help you to get through the process correctly.
Put Yourself Into the Fray
The first thing your lawyer will do is find out which probate court is handling your loved one’s case and then contact the court to let it know you exist. Your lawyer can also find out who the executor of the estate may be to make sure that they know you exist as well. The process of claiming an inheritance in a fractured family situation can be much easier if you take the necessary steps to have the inheritance come to you.
Be Prepared to Fight
With so many people remarrying and starting new families, confirming a will can be a difficult process. In most cases, the first will that is filed is the one that is used during probate, unless there are specific instructions to use the replacement will. If you feel that your half-siblings or other relatives are trying to pull something over on the courts with a replacement will, then you need to be prepared to fight for your right to an inheritance.
Wait for the Process to Work Itself Out
If there is no will, then all you can do is wait for the probate court to do what it has to do to finalize the estate. Your lawyer will keep close tabs on the proceedings and make sure that your interests are kept in mind throughout the process. There is a hierarchy most probate courts follow that starts with the spouse, and then goes through the various levels of children. When things get complicated, having an experienced attorney on your side can be extremely helpful.
If you were never close to your father, then that is not a reason to expect no inheritance after he passes away. In a fractured family situation, it is hard to determine how people feel and what their wills will say. The best approach is to get an experienced lawyer and have that lawyer fight for your every right under probate law to get the inheritance you are entitled to.