When a loved one dies without a will, it can sometimes be difficult for potential heirs to get an accurate accounting of the estate. This can be a complicated process, even for an estate planning attorney, but it is something that can be done with some hard work and perseverance. When someone from Orange County dies, a full accounting of assets is needed to administer a will or trust or to work through the probate process.

When an estate has been administered and there are questions about it, loved ones can contact the county in which the deceased lived at the time of his or her death in order to gather details about what happened with the estate. This should give a list of assets, and if there is an issue, it may be possible to open an estate administration by filing the correct paperwork and paying a fee.

This type of situation arises when a parent remarries and then dies without a will. His or her assets may pass to the surviving spouse who then passes them on to his or her biological children, cutting the original parent’s children out completely. If it appears that valuable assets were not distributed properly, it may be necessary for the potential heir to contact attorneys that were involved with the case.

If the attorneys in question don’t respond to the request or seem to be dodging the issue, then the biological child should definitely consider getting his or her own lawyer. This lawyer can then help to validate claims about the estate and to direct the client toward the best course of action. Unfortunately, some Orange County residents find themselves needing this kind of support when the assets have not been divided fairly.

Some places also have unclaimed property lists. These can help the potential heir determine if the deceased has any open accounts in his or her name. If so, these may need to be examined to determine their rightful distribution. An Internet search can help to find unclaimed property lists, although one should be careful to avoid scams set up to look like they are legitimate.

When an individual passes away without a will, it can make already tenuous family relationships that much more difficult. If you believe that your parent’s estate has not been administered correctly, it may be time to consult with an Orange County estate planning lawyer.