June 27, 2009,
C. asks from New Port Richey, FL on June 25, 2009
How Do You Find Out If You Were in Someone's Will and No One Ever Told You?
My grandmother passed away a few years ago. No one in the family even told me, or my brother. We found out because someone else we know who lives in MA, called to let me know because they saw her name in the newspaper. Well, I sent a card to my aunt, so she had my address and she has my e-mail address. She got together with me when her and her husband came to FL for a convention. She gave me some of my dad's things that she found at my grandmother's house. My grandmother was somewhat wealthy, and I was surprised that she didn't say anything about any sort of inheritance. She and her brothers have been astranged since my father passed away when I was a child. My aunt didn't ask if I wanted any of my grandmother's things either. I just want to know if there is a way to find out if my brother and I might have been mentioned in her will, but we were never told.
S.S. answers from Tampa on June 26, 2009
As for the will stuff, I think Sandi is correct.
I think a will with an attorney is legally required to notify all of those included.
My daughter's grandmother (on her father's side)
is wealthy too. She had one son who died in my arms at 42.
I have heard that she has no intention
of leaving a penny to her two adult grandkids
(my daughter's father has another child too).
She is leaving everything she has, property and all,
to a nonprofit bird sanctuary. Just because folks have money, doesnt mean they always keep it the family.
I hope you wrote your aunt a card,
to thank her for her time,
and for bringing you things of your dad's.
You might ask her for a trinket,
or some momentos of your grandma's;
specific things, perhaps, if you had a fondness for them.
I would think any questions regarding a will
would be better addressed to a legal beagle in Mass,
rather than mamsource here in Florida.
Legal stuff is different from state to state, hon.
Lastly, if your deceased grandma was ill
prior to her death, consider that for a moment.
Health issues/health care/living assistance
often deplete monies insanely,
as well does any debts she owed at death,
and any final arrangements for her
(funeral/memorial/wake stuff, cremation/burial/markers).
Then the state hits the estate with a death tax too.
The greatest treasure your grandma left you,
no doubt, is the memory of any smiles you once shared.
The most valuable gift your father/aunt's generation
has given you is very likely: to stay level headed
in mourning and to honor the deceased's memory with love.
(fighting, leveraging, etc, after a death is common,
but in no way respectful of the dead)
May you find peace somewhere in your heart
along with those happy memories I mentioned.
1 mom found this helpful
S.B. answers from Tampa on June 26, 2009
If she had a will & an atty... I THINK the atty gets in touch w/ everyone.
M.W. answers from Tampa on June 26, 2009
If you know where she was living when she died, you should contact the clerk of courts in that area to find out if a probate action has been filed. If she owned any property or bank accounts in her name alone, usually her estate has to proceed through this process, whether she had a will or not. You should also consider contacting an attorney who lives in the same area as your grandmother who can find this information out for you, and determine whether you have any rights here.
H.B. answers from Tampa on June 27, 2009
We just prepared our will and the attorney told us that they contact everyone involved, regarding money, our kids, property, everything. If there was a legally binding will with you specifically named, you would most likely have been notified. You can always double check by searching the county clerk's database (usually online) or calling them directly to request information related to anything that had been filed with probate. If she did, it would be in whatever county she filed with. You can also search for info as to her estate, what happened to it, etc. If you have the means, an attorney could handle all of this easily for you.
As for getting something of your grandmothers, I don't think it is out of line to just write and ask, even offer to pay postage... Pictures, a small scarf, special pin or some other momento would probably be nice to have, especially to use as conversation pieces to talk to your children about their great-grandmother.