Wills, probate, letters of administration, powers of attorney
You can check if probate was granted on any will of his by going to the probate court site of the state where he died. You can also get a copy of his will for a small fee.
The will may not have gone through probate, if the estate was small.
As a blood relative you would be entitled to be considered for an inheritance. However the estate may be disposed of, but nothing to stop you making inquires.
The executor may not have been able to find you.
Thanks a lot for the tip. I couldn't find anything through probate and I'm wondering just how easy it would be to obtain a copy of the will whilst overseas.
I know for a fact that the executor (namely, his wife) intentionally withheld the information from me. I'm guessing there may have been a time limit for filing a claim or contesting a will...
There is nothing to stop you suing her, if she is still alive, for any losses you may have incurred by not being informed of his death in time for you to make a claim on the estate.
You will need the services of an Australian solicitor to do this, it will cost you money, to pursue the action and it may not succeed.
There is always 2 sides of a story, bear in mind could it be your dad who finally decided you did not want anything further to do with him, secondly, your step mother could just be following his wishes.
Regardless, it is still sad you were not able to form any relationship with your dad during the time he was in the land of the living.