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Bigdog47

Deceased spoke banning family from property that he doesn't own.

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My sister - in law passed away 8-20-45 and she had a will that we found and it stated that her son was administer. The spouse would not let us get anything. We didn't even get to pay respect to her. The house is in her name. The will states that the 2 kids get everything. The kids can't afford all the attorney fees. What should we do? Thanks

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If the kids can't afford attorney fee they will have to study up on probate court procedures so that they can open probate without an attorney.

 

A good place to start is with the probate court's website and see if there are forms and instructions.

 

A review of the state's probate statute would also be helpful.

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There may be a few attorneys who might be willing to open and handle the

estate if there are strong assurances that this will not be an insolvent

estate.  The attorney would then get paid when distribution is made.

The surviving spouse here may be able to elect against the will.

 

Keep calling local attorneys to preliminarily discuss fee arrangements

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Bigdog47,

 

Thank you for the post.  How old are these kids? Is studying up on probate feasible for all of them? Probate proceedings and the base law can be confusing. Am I correct in assuming the husband is the biological father or adoptive parent?

 

What state is this occurring in?

 

-The FindLaw.com Team

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My sister - in law passed away 8-20-45 and she had a will that we found and it stated that her son was administer. The spouse would not let us get anything.

 

Is this your brother's wife or your spouse's sister?  Whose spouse are you referring to here?  Your sister-in-law's spouse?  Who are "us"?  Wouldn't let you get anything from where?

 

 

 

My sister - in law passed away 8-20-45. . . .  We didn't even get to pay respect to her.

 

Well...after 70 years, don't you think it might be time to move on from this?

 

 

 

The house is in her name.

 

So...no one bothered to deal with this for 70 years?

 

 

 

The will states that the 2 kids get everything. The kids can't afford all the attorney fees. What should we do?

 

I'm not sure who "we" are, but nothing in your post suggests you have any standing to take any legal action.  You are, however, free to loan "the kids" (who I assume are in their 70s -- or older -- at this point) whatever money they need to fix the issue with the title of their mother's home.  However, depending on the laws of the unidentified state where she died, her husband almost certainly had the right to elect against the will and receive some or all of her estate.  In fact, the laws in the 1940s may have been very different than they are now in terms of a married woman being allowed to will property to anyone other than her husbnad.

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The statement that the "two kids are going to get everything" may not be correct technically.  If she designated some assets with the children's names, then they will receive those items.  What state is applicable here?  Are there any other assets in the estate besides the house?  The law is going to give a spouse a certain portion of the estate by law, plus any debt must be deducted before a payout is made to beneficiaries.  A decision might need to be made as to whether the house will be sold or not.  All the beneficiaries need to do is to check the county probate court records online, at least once a week to see if the will has been filed for probate and then wait to receive what they are entitled to and if legal procedures are followed correctly, the beneficiaries will be sent a copy of the will.  The beneficiaries do not necessarily need to pay attorney fees unless they want a professional's advice or second opinion about whether there is anything they need to be doing or to get questions/concerns answered.

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The law is going to give a spouse a certain portion of the estate by law...

 

"The law" (whatever that is) is not going to "give" anything to anybody.  The surviving spouse must take action to receive the surviving spouse's elective share.

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This is my husband's sister that passed away in Aug. 2015. She has children but not by the surviving spouse. My sister-in-law lived in Texas and none of the other family members are from there. Is there anything the family can do to get into the house to at least get inventory of what is in thew house? He said he would call the law on us if we even drove up in the yard!!! We have had no closure at all and it he been so hard on all of us. The house is supposed to be in just her name since her last husband passed away? How can we be sure he doesn't get loans on the house? Thanks AR.

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If it is his residence, he can keep folks out. Doesn't matter if deed is in her name. Also wouldn't presume he has no marital interest in property. If her will didn't nominate someone as administrator, husband is likely to be appointed.

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I texted him for a copy of the death certificate. He said his attorney is

handling them and they will get a copy to us when they can. He did say he

was starting probate and that he has a different will than we have. He is

living there. Should we just wait until we get paper's from them before

getting an attorney? He has all the paperwork. We don't know how to get

her SS number so that we at least start checking on things. Any

suggestions on how to get a copy?

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I texted him for a copy of the death certificate. He said his attorney is

handling them and they will get a copy to us when they can. He did say he

was starting probate and that he has a different will than we have. He is

living there. Should we just wait until we get paper's from them before

getting an attorney? He has all the paperwork. We don't know how to get

her SS number so that we at least start checking on things. Any

suggestions on how to get a copy?

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Is there anything the family can do to get into the house to at least get inventory of what is in thew house?

 

"[T]he family" is not an entity that has any legal rights.  Obviously, your husband is "family," but so are the surviving spouse and the children and, under the circumstances you have described, they are the only "family" members who have any legal rights or interest here.  You wrote that the will says that "the 2 kids get everything" and that the will nominated one of the children to serve as administrator.  If that's the case, then the child who is nominated as administrator ought to be consulting with a local attorney about commencing probate in the county where your sister-in-law lived at the time of her death.

 

 

 

He said he would call the law on us if we even drove up in the yard!!! We have had no closure at all and it he been so hard on all of us.

 

That's his prerogative.  Regardless of how the administration of your sister-in-law's estate turns out, neither you nor your husband have any legal interest in this.

 

 

 

The house is supposed to be in just her name since her last husband passed away?

 

I assume you didn't intend this to be a question.  We obviously have no idea how the house is titled, and it's certainly possible that she could have added her new husband to the title of the house.

 

 

 

How can we be sure he doesn't get loans on the house?

 

You can't.  While it may sound harsh, this is none of your business whatsoever.  That said, if the house isn't in his name, I can't imagine how he could get a loan against it.

 

 

 

He did say he

was starting probate and that he has a different will than we have.

 

Who is "he"?  Your sister-in-law's husband or her son?

 

 

 

Should we just wait until we get paper's from them before

getting an attorney?

 

I don't know who "them" refers to, but I doubt you'll be getting any papers and see no reason for you to get an attorney.

 

 

 

We don't know how to get

her SS number so that we at least start checking on things. Any

suggestions on how to get a copy?

 

No.  Her social security number is none of your business whatsoever.  Sorry.

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On 8/24/2015 at 6:44 PM, adjusterjack said:

If the kids can't afford attorney fee they will have to study up on probate court procedures so that they can open probate without an attorney.

 

A good place to start is with the probate court's website and see if there are forms and instructions.

 

A review of the state's probate statute would also be helpful.

 

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August 20th 2015 our family got a call that our sister had suddenly passed away in Splendora Texas, We are from Arkansas.  By the time we arrived the next day the spouse that I will relate to as Sam had her already cremated and wouldn't allow us to even step foot back on her property after the one day that we arrived.  I know that I sounded very confused on my first post. Since then her (Jane) I will call her filed probate on her property. The kids had a copy of the Will and filled it.  (SAM) said that she didn't have one. Later, Sam came up with a Will and filed it.  Not only did we hire a reputable Handwriting Expert that testified that his Will was definitely not her handwriting.   We also had a witness that testified that (Sam) came to her and ask her to help him forge a Will

 Of course she said no and contracted us.  Sam had been trying to get (Jane) to put her name on the house but she wouldn't. So they fought really bad and we believe that she died trying to protect her home. (Sam) found someone to help him forge the Will and because the Notary swore in court that she Witnessed it the judge ruled for him. Since they thought they had lost they changed their Will to Muniment of Will or something.  The Judge told him if (Jane's) were all paid that she would except that.  There was only one bill to the hospital when she died and (Sam) forged her signature using her debit card that her wasn't on and paid the bill.  It is unbelievable.  Not only that we have filed an investigation on the Notary because sheforged an entry in her journal after her stamp expired.  With all this the family can't afford another $10-15,000 to fight it again with another attorney.  It's so sad because this isn't the first time that he got by with forging a Will.  What steps if any can we do in the state of Texas?  Thank you. 

 

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Wow...not often that folks come back and follow up after nearly two and a half years.  Unfortunately, what you've told us in your most recent post isn't really any less convoluted than what you previously wrote.  It's also not really clear what you're seeking to accomplish.  Your sister apparently was survived by a spouse and by children, so it's unlikely you have any standing to do anything.  You also told us that "the judge rules for" the surviving spouse, so the only recourse available to the party on the losing side of that ruling would be an appeal.

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9 hours ago, pg1067 said:

Wow...not often that folks come back and follow up after nearly two and a half years.  Unfortunately, what you've told us in your most recent post isn't really any less convoluted than what you previously wrote.  It's also not really clear what you're seeking to accomplish.  Your sister apparently was survived by a spouse and by children, so it's unlikely you have any standing to do anything.  You also told us that "the judge rules for" the surviving spouse, so the only recourse available to the party on the losing side of that ruling would be an appeal.

 

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It is really difficult to understand your question. Your sister died. She was married and had 2 adult children. There were at least 2 copies of the will; one leaving "everything" to the children, and one the spouse. At some point this ended up in court and the judge upheld the spouse's copy of the will? It isn't clear if there were assets that were outside of the will (not uncommon), or if the will included items which were marital property and therefore not eligible to be "given away". Typically the spouse is permitted to remain in the marital residence, even if his or her name was not on the deed.

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(Jane) was only married to the spouse  for about 5 or so years.   When she wouldn't put her previously owned and paid for home in his name it got really bad. The children are not his.  The spouse had a (friend) to draw up a Will that totally left her kids out of it.  The kids had a copy of the Will that their mother had set up and filed at courthouse.  So after she passed away is when he came up with a New Improved Will that we proved in court that it was a forged Will. The Notary and the 2 witnesses went to court and swore that they saw her make the Will which you can't witness something that didn't happen?

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There is no "we" here. It doesn't matter if they were only married for 5 years. The spouse could remain in the marital home in 99% of circumstances. It isn't clear when the kid's will was written, but it sounds like it was before the marriage. It isn't clear what happened in court.

 

1. Judge found the new will more believable and he property contained in the will goes to the spouse. In this case, "we" didn't prove that the will was forged and I'm not sure how you would know your sister didn't create a new will. If there are 3 witnesses and the spouse all saying she did create a new will, it is going to be difficult to prove ALL of them are lying.

2. Judge found the kid's will valid but the spouse is permitted to remain in the house for life.

3. Judge found that there was no valid will and the estate will be divided accordingly.

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