No One Told Me My Dad Died (Am I In His Will?)

No One Told Me My Dad Died

No one told me my Dad died six months ago; while I was distraught when I heard the news, I wonder if there was more to the story.

My parents were separated when I was about two years old and I never really knew him as a Dad growing up. It was only when I was about 16 that I got to know that my biological Dad was still alive.

For many reasons, I have always been told that my Dad was dead – that’s the “joy” of being in a dysfunctional family.

Both my biological parents remarried when I was still young. My step-dad was abusive, so I never really had a fatherly figure to watch over me while I was growing up.

I have always been told that a father-daughter relationship is very special. And fortunately, I was able to experience it after 16 years of wait, when my biological Dad reached out to me.

Relationship With Biological Dad

Over the years, I saw my biological father regularly. I always thought he was a nice guy with an interesting character – someone with a dry sense of humor and a talent for poetry. Along the way, I eventually forgave him and made peace with the fact that my biological Dad actually walked out of my life during the earlier days.

We always wrote to one another back and forth. While we were close, I have never met my extended family because apparently Stepmom disapproves of our relationship.

Things started to change when Dad started to ignore my letters to him. Life for me at that time was traumatic as I was still adapting to college life.

Long story short, I phoned him but couldn’t get through the line. Continued to send him letters but there wasn’t a reply. I later found out that he moved to California.

Thinking that he need time to settle down, I decided to focus on school for the time being.

A year passed and I still haven’t gotten a reply. Determined to find out his whereabouts, I looked him up on the PeopleFinderFree website using his 9-digit social security number (SSN).

To my horror, I found out that he had died 6 months ago. I felt so traumatized with a mixture of emotions toggling between heartbreak and abandonment.

Coping With Dad’s Death

When I first discovered his death, I was in deep denial. I kept re-entering my Dad’s SSN into the “SSN Lookup field” on the webpage to make sure that there wasn’t any mistake. But the results were the same – he was no longer with us.

Back then, I had a really hard time healing my grieving heart. I was zig-zaging between anger and depression.

I was angry at my step-family for not informing me about Dad’s death, angry at my Dad for leaving this world without a word (why re-enter my life when you choose to leave again), angry at the doctors for not saving my Dad, etc.

And then depression hits when I started accepting reality.

I had a lot of burning questions but didn’t have any answers.

  • When did Dad die? Did he had any last wishes?
  • Did Dad die of any chronic illness? Why didn’t he tell me he’s ill?
  • Why didn’t Stepmom contact me? Didn’t she receive the letters that I sent Dad? I had my address written on the back of the envelope.

What really helped with my grieving process was:

  • Speaking to a therapist: It allowed me to express feelings freely without being judged by anyone.
  • Joining grief support groups: I made friends at grief support groups which helped as we were going through the same phase of life together.  

No One Told Me My Dad Died; Did He Leave Me An Inheritance?

My Mom and I had speculations that my step-family hid Dad’s death because there could be a possibility that he left an inheritance for me. While I did some checks, I did not pursue the matter eventually because part of me died the day after Dad died. I didn’t want to have anything that would remind me of the good times we had together.

If you’re someone in a similar situation and would like to find out if there was any inheritance left behind, your best bet is to find out who is the appointed executor for Dad’s estate.

I do have to highlight that I am not an attorney and certainly do not know the laws in every state and country. So take what I say with a pinch of salt and use it as a reference only.

Find The Executor Of Dad’s Estate

Executors of the estate are the ones who deal with the distribution of the assets. In most cases, the assets will go to the spouse. Unless your Dad specifically left some inheritance for his children, if not, the inheritance will usually flow to his spouse first.

Visit the courthouse in the country where your Dad resides. If the executor has been assigned for your Dad’s estate, they’ll likely have a record of it. This also means that they’ll be able to link you up with the executor.

Be prepared as you’ll need to provide some proof of your relationship with Dad. Your birth certificate would be the best proof as it’ll have your Dad’s name.

Hidden Assets That Belongs To Dad

Additionally, try looking for any organizations that your Dad might have belonged to. If he was part of any churches or clubs, speak to his friends who could provide leads to otherwise any hidden assets that he may have.

Problems With Unequal Inheritance Distribution

When it comes to assets distribution, you may or may not be happy with the amount you’re inheriting. In most cases, inheritances are distributed unevenly due to favouritism etc.

For most people, the dollar amount of the inheritance represents the intensity of love for the person. This could result in disappointments and jealousy. My advice is to have an open mind and not have any expectations.