How can I find out if my step mom followed my dad's will?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

My Dad unexpectedly passed away a year ago. My step mom almost immediately cut me and my dads other children out of her life. She then put his house up for sale and moved in with a boyfriend 2 months later. My dad had talked to me years ago about his will and that I was included in his will, I was probably 12-13 at the time and really had no idea what he was talking about or interest in it. How can I find out if my former step mom followed my dads will? I know that she paid off his (their) house and now that she is living with her fiance, she will keep every penny when the house sells. I feel deep down that there is something she is hiding.

Expert Answers

Understandably, you want to find out if your father's will was followed. Unfortunately, that may be difficult to do. If your father's will was filed for probate, in the county court for the county he died in, there will be a record of that probate proceeding. That record will have a copy of the will. So you can start by searching the probate court records for the appropriate county, using your father's name.

If you can't find a probate record, look for record of the transfer of the house. Was the house transferred to your step mom's name? When was it transferred? You can check the county records for real estate transactions. Again, check for your father's name and see if there's a transaction transferring ownership from him to your step mom.

If neither of these approaches work, things get very hard. Something must have gone on, because for your step mom to sell the house she had to have title to it. How did she get it? Why can't you find it? If you reach these questions, it's a matter for detective work, either your own or a professionals.