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executor and surviving child conflict with location of will


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#1 curleegirl

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:56 PM

My mother died recently and according to her friend there is a will naming the friend as executor. I am ok with that as I am not interested in inheriting anything (my mother disowned me several years ago). However, my mother made no provisions for her friend to access the will, no key to her house or safe deposit box, etc. I am not in contact with her friend and would prefer to go through legal channels to establish who has legal standing. I'd rather not get involved with whatever emotional history her friend wants to revisit.

My mother died in California and I know the onus is on the executor is to file the will with the Court, i.e. witness letters, notarized copies if applicable, etc. Do I go to my mother's condo and attempt to find the will, attempt to reach out to the friend and have a disinterested thrid party help find the will with us or should I wait for the friend to compel me to grant her access to the condo so she can obtain the will?

My gut feeling is that since the friend wants to take responsibility for my mothers estate then she should find the correct legal channels to do so. Should there not be a will then I can intiate probate proceedings. Working for the justice system I have come to appreciate keeping as neutral as possible and move forward according to the law.

#2 knort4

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:35 AM

Yes, you should go to the condo and attempt to find the will and then turn it over to the friend or ask the friend to come pick it up.

#3 pg1067

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:38 AM

I'm a little uncertain about the purpose of your post. It seems like you simply want us to make value judgments for you.


My mother died recently and according to her friend there is a will naming the friend as executor. I am ok with that as I am not interested in inheriting anything (my mother disowned me several years ago).


"Disown" is not a legal concept. If your mother had a valid will, and if the will did not provide that you should receive anything, then you are, in effect, "disowned," but it doesn't have any meaning otherwise.


However, my mother made no provisions for her friend to access the will, no key to her house or safe deposit box, etc.


Then this begs the question why/how this friend purports to know that your mother had a will and what the will says.


I am not in contact with her friend and would prefer to go through legal channels to establish who has legal standing.


I'm not sure what you mean by this (legal standing to do what?), and it sounds like you're getting second- or third-hand information.


My mother died in California and I know the onus is on the executor is to file the will with the Court, i.e. witness letters, notarized copies if applicable, etc.


I'm not sure what the part after "i.e." means (I've never heard of a "witness letter," and wills are not required to be, and customarily are not, notarized), and the part before the "i.e." is not a correct statement. There is no executor until one is appointed by the court. Accordingly, there can be no executor prior to the filing of the will with the court. California Probate Code Section 8200 imposes a duty on a person who has "custody" of a will and who knows that the maker of the will has died, but the duty is not necessarily to file the will with the court. See http://www.leginfo.c...&file=8200-8203.


Do I go to my mother's condo and attempt to find the will, attempt to reach out to the friend and have a disinterested thrid party help find the will


You're absolutely free to do that if you have the means to access your mother's condo legally. You're also free to do absolutely nothing (and I'm at a loss to understand why the prior response believes unequivocally that you should do this). Given your statements about being "disowned" and that you want nothing from the estate, I'm a little unsure why you would care to do anything at all.


or should I wait for the friend to compel me to grant her access to the condo so she can obtain the will?


I am unaware of any mechanism by which your mother's friend could compel you to grant her access to the condo. Even if the friend were appointed to serve as executor, he/she could simply hire a locksmith to access the condo, and that would be a heck of a lot cheaper than any effort to "compel" you to grant access.

#4 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:05 AM

What would you like done about this matter?

#5 curleegirl

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:37 PM

@pg1067 Thank you so much for your response. Some of your responses are very helpful. I am just going to let the matter be handled by probate court. And that is court with a lower case c.




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