I've just discovered my grandfather died in 2006. We weren't close but looking on line I can see that the probate required proof of my mothers death before it could be closed. I assume that means she was named in his will but she preceded him. If she was to inherit would theses assets go to her children? No one contacted us? What should we do?
You can go to the county office (it might be called Surrogate's court, probate court, or Orphan's court, or a different name) and obtain a copy of the will if in fact your grandfather had one. You can review the will and then determine if you feel it is worth pursuing. If you were supposed to receive a notice under the court rules or state law, or pursuant to the terms of the will, you might have a basis for a claim if you did not receive the required notice. An issue you face is whether or not the statute of limitations (the time period during which you can bring a suit) has passed (tolled). Bottom line, consult a probate litigator (attorney) in your area to determine what, if anything, can be done. If the litigator advises you that you have a case, you should then carefully review the practicality of that case. The mere existence of a case doesn't make it economically viable. Seeing your grandfather's will, and whatever other documentation or information you can obtain, the attorney's estimate of the costs of proceeding, and the likelihood that even if you proceed and win a suit, that there will be assets left to collect upon, should help you make a decision.
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