April 26, 2009
First of all, I would like to inquire what is the specific statute of limitations in which to contest a will in the state of Michigan. I am currrently living out of the country and it is therefore difficult to find the answers I need. My mother recently died. Prior to that I was under the understanding by what she told me verbally up to her death and from a prior will that her house was promised to me upon her death. This is the major portion of her estate. However, after she passed away I learned from her attorney that her will had been changed 1 year and 7 months prior to her death. I asked why I was not informed and I was told that "they did not know how to contract me." This is untrue because I visited my mother in her home 4 months prior to her death and on the Christmas holiday prior to that time. The prior will was in force for about 17 years and was amended just after my brother died. Prior to her death her sister-in-law had financial Power of Attorney for my mother, which was unknown to me. The new will made her husband, my mother'sonly surviving brother in charge of the estate and entitled to one-half of everything. I learned that my mother's brain had atrophied or shrunken from her attending doctor who took care of her after she had a massive stroke. She also more than likely had Dementia. These conditions do not happen overnight. I feel that when she made her will her thinking was impaired and she did not know what she was doing. The original will has been introduced into the Probate Court system in Michigan. What can I do now and how long do I have to challenge this will? Thank you for your help. It is most appreciated from one American to others from one who is stranded overseas.