No will makes settling an estate more difficult, but not impossible.
First, I am sorry for your loss. Even when there is a will, the death of a loved one is difficult.
Unfortunately, this passing will be more than just emotionally challenging.
MarketWatch responded to a similar question in "My wealthy grandmother left no will — how do we find her stocks and bonds?," advising executors to use their detective skills and even providing suggestions on how to do so.
What steps should you take?
If applicable, contact these people who might have access to the home or personal records of the decedent.
- His or her estate planning attorney
- The housekeeper
- Close friends
- Other relatives
Visit the bank and check whether there is a safe deposit box under his or her name.
Track the mail for accounts updates.
Look for a master lists of accounts and documents in a file drawer or on the computer.
What documents will be important for you to have?
- Tax returns
- Birth certificates
- Insurance policies
- Account information
Regrettably, gathering documents and account details without a will or any other guidance is not easy and far too common.
Do not be discouraged.
Instead start your sleuthing and follow new leads as they come.
With help, you can crack this case.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: MarketWatch (April 30, 2016) "My wealthy grandmother left no will — how do we find her stocks and bonds?"