Wills and administrations of estates are public records in the probate court of the county, which was the deceased person's legal residence.
The problem is more whether your grandfather wrote his will down or made a proper will in accordance to the law of the state he lived. When he died in 2018 someone obviously took over his property and inheritance, but everything can just happen in accordance to the law or his will. So, like Susanne wrote, his will -as far as he wrote or made one- could be in the court. Otherwise, when your aunt took over she should have something to prove her rights to do so, otherwise when there is no will to find at all, the inheritance law would be the one to follow, I guess. Unfortunately many people express their will, but forget to follow the proper formal requirements for a will by the law of the state they live in.So I guess your main goal is to find a written will or otherwise you need to find out who would inheritate what when there is no will at all in accordance to the state you live.Sabine
What state is this in? You need to know what county your grandfather died in and then when you have figured out the name of the county, look online for the probate court records for that county. If he had a will that was probated in court, you can search for his name and the court case will come up. Even if he did not have a will, your aunt could have gone ahead with probate and then his estate would be divided according to what your state law says. If he did not have a will, and a court proceeding was done anyway, it is possible that the law required that his next-of-kin to inherit might be his brothers and sisters first. If he had brothers and sisters, then the estate will probably go to them, and NOT to his grandchildren. So sorry to have to report that to you.
Be aware that a “power of attorney” is only valid as long as the person is living. Once the person dies the POA is no longer in effect.
If a will exists for a person, once that person has died, the will becomes public record. Anybody can see it. So you should be able to get a copy.
First, call the probate court in the county where your grandfather lived. Give them his name and date of death and ask for the file number of his will. If there isn’t any, then he probably didn’t have a written will. But they would still need to open an estate for him because he owned property.
So whether he had a will or not, your next step is to see if a probate file was opened on his estate. Find out who the administrator of his estate is or was. (Or the executor of the estate if there was a will.) From what you’ve said, it could be your aunt. If he died in 2018, it’s possible that his estate has already been settled, but that’s odd because you would have been notified. You can get that information from the probate court, too.
The administrator or executor would have been working under a lawyer. If the estate is open, but still not settled, find out which attorney/law office is handling his estate and speak to them about your concerns. Just stick to the facts–that some of your property is on his land and you want it back.
In cases where a person died without a will, each state has rules about the lines of inheritance. Typically, the spouse (if alive) would inherit, then the children and grandchildren. If no children were alive, then the siblings. However, this would be done according to the laws of the state where he lived.