Locate the probate or surrogate court that handled the estate proceedings. The court may be in the county where the deceased resided or where he owned real estate.
Contact the court clerk of each court you locate. Inquire as to the procedure for reviewing estate files. Procedures vary by county. Some courts allow a person to mail in a written request for estate records, while others require an in-person visit. Follow the instructions of the clerk to view the estate records. You'll need to give her information about the deceased, usually the deceased's legal name and the date of death if you have it, so she can locate the estate paperwork.
View the estate file. You need to find the final estate account. The executor or administrator of the estate must file a final account to settle the estate and receive a release from the court. You'll find a final account and release in the files of a settled estate. Write down the name and address of the estate's attorney, as shown on the court files if you don't see a final account or release. Write down the name and address of the executor or estate administrator if the estate did not use an attorney.
Contact the estate's attorney or administrator if you want to inquire about the estate's settlement status. Identify your relationship to the deceased, if any. Give your reason for asking. The attorney or administrator may not respond to you if you don't state why you're interested in the estate.