Q: In Feb 2021, I received a letter from a financial firm looking for relatives of an uncle who passed in 2015. What now?
My uncle passed in early 2015, divorced for decades with no children and no will. The only direct relatives left are a few cousins, of which I am one. The estate went to probate during that same year with all his assets liquidated to pay outstanding debts. The city took ownership of the house and land, auctioning it when none of us stepped up to pay thousands in back taxes. After that, we were never informed if all balances were paid.
Then in Feb 2021, I received financial statements from a legit company with a note saying they've been trying to find any relatives of my uncle. They've been looking for years because they still have an active account in his name valued under $30,000.
So, what forms do I need to file to admit this to probate? Do I need to find the original case number and file some kind of amendment? The Probate Court website for his county has many documents, but they all seems to apply to recent death not years after.
A: If its already been to probate, then it probably doesn't need to go again. This could be unclaimed funds. But, a court may still be needed to order who the funds are distributed to. This can get complicated. I suggest getting an attorney. If the statements are legit, you can certainly find one who will do it at no cost up front.
Andrew Popp agrees with this answer
A: I agree with Mr. Epling. It sounds like your uncle's estate already went to probate. You can look up what transpired in the probate court records. Depending on what county he lived in, you may be able to simply pull the records up online. That may give you an idea of what the status of his estate is. As for what would need to be done, that's going to depend on a lot of unknowns at this point. You likely need to sit down with a probate attorney who practices in the county where probate took place. Alternatively, you may be able to get information from the person who was appointed to be the administrator of your uncle's estate.
Best of luck.
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