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Fathers estate


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#1 rs_glnn

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:28 AM

Hi, let me start by saying I myself know nothing of how trusts or wills work. Having said that, my father passed away years ago, his wife is still alive, however myself, my brother, or my sister have never been given any type of paperwork, at least they say they haven't, I really dont know what to believe My question is shouldn"t I be given something, anything, about a will or trust. I even talked with an attorney online and my brother took some kind of papers he had to the guys office and I was told by my brother he "cant do anytrhing because of how the trust is set up", and I never heard from the lawyer again. I was under the impression that if you have kids they should get something in writing either saying you get something or you dont, but as I said years are clicking by and I havent seen a single bit of paperwork. ANY help will be greatly appreciated.

#2 FindLaw_Amir

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:48 AM

Did your father have a will or trust you are aware of?
FindLaw's Legal Heads-Up! newsletter can provide you with the legal resources you need to make informed decisions when law touches aspects of your everyday life.

#3 Fallen

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:57 AM

You say you haven't seen X, but then you mention a brother taking "papers" to be reviewed by an attorney. Are you saying there was no talk of those "papers" and you never saw them?

"I was under the impression that if you have kids they should get something in writing either saying you get something or you dont..."

What "should" be and what is are two different things though.

Sounds like you may want to ask your brother a few questions about this "papers" ... and you're always free to pester the wife for information, or talk with another attorney (or the one you reached out to in the first place).

"I never heard from the lawyer again."

But ... were you expecting to? (Rhetorical question.)

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#4 rs_glnn

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:27 AM

I have been told that there was a will and my brother was named as executor, however, that was changed at some point before my fathers passing, the papers he took to the lawyers office were the old will. Now all I have been told reguarding the paperwork is it is some type of trust, but I get no definitive answers from anyone. I was just hoping someone might have a suggestion on how I can find out something about it, his wife and I dont really speak, and my siblings have moved out of state recently so I will probably never even get a copy of the original will he has promissed over and over.

#5 knort4

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:14 PM

What city and state did the death occur in? What year did he die? Your first step will be to check online records for that county (do a GOOGLE search for that county's probate court) to search for your father's name to see if anyone has filed documents to open up probate for him. If there is a probate file you can order copies of the file to see exactly how the estate was handled. However, there probably will be no probate file since it appears his assets were put into a trust, which is a private document that is not available in court. Since you apparently have not been notified by the trustee that you were a beneficiary, it is possible that you were not named as a beneficiary in his trust (is it possible that stepmother influenced him to not name you as beneficiary or did you possibly have a bad relationship with him where he would not be inclined to leave you and other siblings anything at all?). Unless you can talk to anyone who did receive anything from the trust, you will have no legal standing to ask to see a copy of the trust and unfortunately there is nothing you can do. The only thing it appears that you can do is to ask a trust attorney in whatever state the death occurred in, is under what circumstances to you have the right to challenge or contest a trust if you are not named as a beneficiary, if you are not specifically disinherited. There is also a statute of limitations to be concerned about. You may want to ask a trust attorney if there is anything you can do to try to find out information, but I don't think the outlook is a positive one here. So sorry. It's only natural for a child to want to receive an inheritance from the parents.

#6 pg1067

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:55 PM

my father passed away years ago, his wife is still alive, however myself, my brother, or my sister have never been given any type of paperwork, at least they say they haven't


Paperwork about what? How many years is "years ago"?


My question is shouldn"t I be given something, anything, about a will or trust.


Well...do you know whether your father even had a will and/or a trust? If he had either or both, whether you were entitled to any paperwork depends on the laws of your father's state of residence at the time of his death and your age at that time. Generally, children are entitled to a copy of a will upon request made to the executor of the estate. Have you ever asked your mother about this (or "his wife," who I assume is not your mother)? As for a trust, persons named in the trust are typically entitled to copies.


as I said years are clicking by and I havent seen a single bit of paperwork.


How many years? When someone says something happened "years ago," I typically think in terms of decades. If that's what you're talking about, I have to ask why you never did anything before now.


I have been told that there was a will and my brother was named as executor, however, that was changed at some point before my fathers passing, the papers he took to the lawyers office were the old will.


Told by whom? Being nominated to serve as executor in a will of a living person is meaningless. In fact, a will is a largely meaningless document until the person who made it dies.

Here's what I would suggest. First, send something in writing to each person whom you believe has, had, or may have had any will or trust instrument created by your father requesting copies of any such documents. Second, visit the clerk's office at the probate court in the county where your father lived at the time of his death. Ask the clerk how you can check case indexes to see if a probate action was ever filed for your father's estate. In some places, wills can be filed with the local county clerk without probate being opened, so check about that also. Third, visit the county recorder (the place where real property deeds get filed) to see if anything is recorded under your father's name. Fourth, take everything you find as a result to a local probate attorney and ask him/her to review it and advise you regarding your options.

#7 rs_glnn

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:36 AM

I would like to thank you all for the ideas and suggestions, its has been about 10 years since his passing, and I will visit the places that were suggested as soon as I am down in that area, again, thank you very much, very helpfull ideas.




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