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    Stainless's Avatar
    Stainless Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Feb 24, 2007, 10:09 AM
    Father recently deceased with no will, don't know where to start.
    My father died in a vehicle accident a few days ago. There is no will that we the family know of and his girlfriend isn't being of any help. The only thing she gave us was a suitcase with 4 picture frames and two pairs of socks. We've never dealt with anything like this so we're all looking for the right direction to proceed in.

    First, my father has a house on a two acre lot in which the deed is in his name which we currently have. He did not live there, but right next door with his girlfriend. She is claiming it is hers but has no documentation proving it. We do not know which direction we need to move in and we don't want to be hit blind sided either. So what should be done first and foremost?

    Secondly, we know my father had a lock box at a bank but we're not for sure where. We currently have the key but there is no name on it, just a number. We're hoping that if we can find this that all of these questions will be answered. We have already frozen his checking accounts that we know of to prevent the girlfriend from withdrawing any money. Her name was not listed on any of his check receipts that we have found so far. We are just looking for a direction to move in to locate these accounts and what we'll need for the family to access them.

    We are worried that there is more going on behind the scenes relating to my fathers accident because of the different stories that my two brothers got from the girlfriend the day of the accident. We were also confronted at the funeral by a previous husband of the girlfriend asking for his keys which was really weird and definitely not the right time or place. My father didn't own any thing of any great value but we're pretty sure he had a small insurance policy because we have found receipts of payments. She denied that he had one to us but she called the funeral home trying to get a death certificate to claim his policy to "buy a headstone" for my father.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,303, Reputation: 7692
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    #2

    Feb 24, 2007, 10:31 AM
    Ok first you need to file in probate and start getting a list of all his property. IF he lives in a smaller area, go from bank to bank to bank, asking if he has a lock box there. You will need a order from the probate court to open the lock box if your name is not on the box.

    The girlfriend has no claim to anything, but will most likely clear the house out if you dn't go and change the locks on the house.

    Next you go into his house and look though all of his papers, and watch the mail for monthly bank statements and the such.

    For the insurance, it goes to whoever the benificiary is, that is listed on the policy, But if you have a receipt, call them and ask who is the benificary on the policy, you don't need the policy, just the number

    She is basically trying to get anything she can, and you need to get that lawyer to inform her she has no claim in this.

    If you wait just a few days getting started, no telling what can be gone.
    Stainless's Avatar
    Stainless Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Feb 24, 2007, 03:09 PM
    Thanks for your reply. I'm not for sure how to reply other than in the "Answer" section so if it's inappropriate, please excuse me.

    This property is over a hundred miles away from where all of us live so it's pretty much impossible to keep her out. We were there yesterday after the funeral trying to find any paperwork my father had and she literally came out her back door and fired two shots at us with a 38 special. She ended up going to jail for 3rd degree aggregated assault and we were told by the sheriff that he couldn't hold her long and that we should leave for now and get this settled in court.

    Should we hire an attorney that is from the area of which my father's house is or one that is local to us?

    If we can not find where the lock box is, is there any way we can search for this other than just going from bank to bank? As in using some sort of search that will show every account on his SS number.

    Thank you for your time.
    shyylo's Avatar
    shyylo Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Feb 25, 2007, 10:54 AM
    I am going through something similar, although the "girlfriend" in my case has not threatened me yet. She is keeping information from me though; she is also claiming common law status-could get complicated. What state are you in? She is in Montana and I am in California. I made the mistake of not getting an attorney right away. So now, thanks to Fr. Chuck here I am going to get one this week. I wish you gooodluck!
    Carol
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,303, Reputation: 7692
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    #5

    Feb 25, 2007, 02:04 PM
    It is fairly easy to keep her out, go there, change all the locks, and even have a security system put in, if she goes back in, she is now a theft.

    As for as the bank, sorry, you can ask your local back if there is some directly of who has what but I don't think there is, but again if you go to his house, see where he banks, and most likely it is there.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,303, Reputation: 7692
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    #6

    Feb 25, 2007, 02:04 PM
    And get all of his mail forwarded to you, so by the end of a month or 1/2 you will have all of his bills, banking info and more

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