How to Find Out If Someone Left You Money After They Died
Can you receive money unexpectedly from someone who passed away?
The short answer is yes. Oftentimes, a distant relative or even a closer family member may include you in their will, leaving you some kind of asset as an inheritance. Since a will is a private document, you may not be aware of the fact that you are among the beneficiaries until the person passes away. If the deceased person is someone who was not quite close to you, you may not even get to know about their last will and testament right after their passing.
So, how do you find out if someone left you money after they died? Depending on how close the deceased person was to you and whether or not they died intestate (i.e. without a will), there are many ways to go about this process.
5 ways to find out if someone left you money after they died
It may be a sensitive topic for many people, but it’s important to find out whether you have any potential inheritance that remains unclaimed. Here are some ways in which you can go about this process.
- Start by gathering the necessary information: Begin the process collecting relevant details about the deceased individual. Essential details include their full name, date of death and any information about their financial affairs. You can also try to gather knowledge of their bank accounts, investments, insurance policies or any other assets they may have possessed. This is generally possible if the person who passed away was fairly familiar or well-acquainted with you.
- Check if there is a will available: A will is a legal document that outlines how a person's assets should be distributed after their death. Wills often specify the beneficiaries and the assets they are entitled to receive. If it is possible, you can also search for a will among the deceased individual's personal papers and safe deposit boxes. Again, this is only applicable if the deceased person was a closer relative, because it may not be possible to access their important financial or personal documents otherwise.
- Consult with the executor or attorney of the deceased person: The executor is the person responsible for administering the deceased person's estate according to their wishes. The attorney is the person who takes care of the deceased’s legal issues and can offer legal expertise throughout the process. You can reach out to either the attorney or the executor of the deceased person to inquire about any potential inheritance. They can provide valuable information about the distribution of assets and can guide you through the process.
- Get in touch with the court: If you are unable to locate a will or the deceased did not have one, you may need to contact the probate court in the jurisdiction where the person passed away. The probate court handles the legal process of distributing assets when there is no valid will. They can provide information on how to proceed and whether you may be entitled to any inheritance as a legal heir.
- Seek the help of a professional: In complex cases or situations where you are unsure about the legal procedures involved, it can be beneficial to seek the assistance of a probate attorney or an estate lawyer. They can provide guidance, review the deceased person's financial documents, and help you navigate through any legal complexities.
Protecting Loved Ones From Financial Burden
Patience and communication are key
Remember that the process of finding out if someone left you money after they died can vary depending on the circumstances and legal requirements in your jurisdiction. Each situation is unique, and seeking professional advice can be invaluable to ensure you understand your rights and obligations during this sensitive time.
Also, it takes time to resolve the distribution of assets and determine if you are entitled to any inheritance. So, it is essential to remain patient throughout the process. Keep open lines of communication with the executor or relevant legal professionals to stay updated on the progress.
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