Holly Ridge, NC asked in Estate Planning and Patents (Intellectual Property) for North Carolina

Q: My Father passed,how do I find out if there’s anything in he’s estate for my sister and I. Thank you

3 Lawyer Answers
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: This question was presented to attorneys that work on patents (inventions). There is not a legal category for pa r ents.

You may want post this as a probate question as it may be possible that your father did not do estate planning and the default rules will be applied.

This is out of my lane but there are people that know that area of law.

Kevin E Flynn

Theodore David Vicknair Sr.
Theodore David Vicknair Sr.
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Mandeville, LA

A: The first question to ask is did he die with a Last Will and Testament. You shoudl examine his house and personal records to see if he may have exeucted one, if the original is in the house, and what bank records he may have there.

If you can't find the will there, check with the Clerk of Court of the county in which he resided. They may have the original on file, because sometimes estate planning attorneys suggest that the original be filed with the Clerk of Court for safekeeping.

If you can find the will, go to an attorney to have it presented to the Court. If you find bank statements, you will likely know where he banked or may have a safe deposit box.

The person named in the will as executor can be officially appointed by the Court to represent the estate. If not, any person that would naturally have an interest in the estate can apply for appointment as administrator. After such appointment (possibly you), that person can send correspondence to local banks (with an official copy of the appointment from the Court) to inquire whether they have an account for him.

If you get a copy of his bank statements, and they show deposits of income or interest from a financial institution other than the bank that issued the bank statements, that would be a clue as to where he might have other money.

As a last ditch effort, if you are appointed administrator, you can obtain copies from the IRS of the income he reported. The Schedules B and D (if any) to his Form 1040 will indicate if he had interest or dividend income, as well as the source. You can request a return transcript indicating reporing of income on Forms 1099 to him to see where any income was sourced from.

Follow up with any financial institutions with a copy of the official paperwork from the court.

That is a long answer. Most of the time, paperwork will be in his house or safe deposit box indicating where he has accounts and assets.

Hope this helps.

Theodore David Vicknair Sr.
Theodore David Vicknair Sr.
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Mandeville, LA

A: Oh, and I forgot. Check with the county tax assessor's office to find out if any property is assessed in his name. Some states have a state-level entity that keeps track of this so you can contact them to ascertain is he owned property (lot, camp, etc.) across county lines.

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