Does Daughter Have Rights to the Estate of Her Father, Who She Never Met?

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“What rights do I have to my dad’s estate? I never met him and he was a police officer who died in 2004. He was married to a second wife and had a son from that marriage. He also had a son with anther woman prior to getting married. The woman he married had a daughter who was not my dad’s. His wife passed on in 2006. When I went looking for him at the police station at which he used to work, I found out that he had died and that some of his money had been left for his beneficiaries, which they need to claim. He named both of his sons and stepdaughters as beneficiaries, and not me.”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

The answers depend on what kind of estate planning documents your father had (a will, trust, or other similar setup), and also on what state he was living in when he died.  Even if you have copies of the relevant documents, the answers aren’t always obvious, so I would recommend consulting with a probate attorney local to where your father lived to be sure.



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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.