A family member died and didn’t leave a will. What do we do?

The first thing I recommend doing is that you contact an attorney who has experience in the area of probate. If your loved one died owning assets in his or her own name those assets will likely have to go through probate.

A couple of other things that you can do in preparation for meeting with an attorney that will be helpful are:

  • Make a list of any assets that your loved one owned.
  • Gather up any statements that show exactly how those assets were owned, whether they were owned individually or perhaps jointly with another person.
  • Is there any real estate involved?  Get a copy of the deed that will show how that real estate was owned.

Make a list of any possible creditors that your loved one may have had. Did they owe anything on their credit card? Did they have a mortgage? Did they have a car loan? Those are all things that you’ll want to consider. By gathering that information up now you’ll be able to more efficiently interact with an attorney when you do sit down with him or her.

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