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Ozne

cheated out of inheritance

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My mother gave one of my 2 brothers PoA. He set up a secret trust with my other brother, and transferred all of my mother's property into the trust. She has now died, they have not shown her will (which she had told be showed an equal division) and now they are selling the property and not speaking to me. The land is in NH, where none of us live. The trust MIGHT have been formed in NJ (where my brother lives) and possibly in Florida (other brother). I am in the UK, and do not know where to turn. I tried hiring a NH lawyer, but got a $3k bill for sending a registered letter (which my brother of course refused to receive) and no advice at all. I am not wealthy and stuck as to what to do next.

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It's illegal for a POA to act in his own interests. It's possible that the trust might not be valid if not signed personally by your mother. Hiding of a will is often cured by opening probate under intestacy where all siblings share equally. That often shakes out the will if it's of benefit to any particular sibling.

 

If you think you got overcharged by the attorney you can file a fee dispute with the New Hampshire Bar Association:

 

https://www.nhbar.org/for-the-public/drc.asp

 

As for your inheritance, well, if you aren't financially and/or geographically prepared to litigate against your brothers your option is to just give it and get on with your life.

 

Estate litigation could cost 10 times or 20 times what you've already been charged.

 

I know that seems bleak but it's unfortunately the reality of your situation.

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What state did your mother die in?  That is the state whose law will predominate as to which law will be applied to the administration of the trust and estate.

 

Have you already paid the $3,000.00 fee that you were unreasonably charged?  If not, then don't pay it.

 

Do you have any idea of what the estimated value of your mother's estate would be (land and any other assets)?  Use that figure to quote to any attorneys you contact to ask to consider representing you, and although most may not agree to defer a fee until beneficial results have been obtained for you, there is a small chance you might find an attorney who is sympathetic enough to help you.

 

You need an attorney who practices in the same state and county that your mother resided in.

 

Was your mother mentally competent at the time she may have signed the trust willingly?

 

Yes, getting an intestate probate open is the first step and there will be court fees involved perhaps at a cost of a few hundred dollars, and you will need a probate attorney for that (who also has experience with trusts).  You would also want to ask the trust attorney if there is a way for you to contest the trust, which may be difficult to do if you are NOT named as a beneficiary of it.  I would also be asking a family law attorney (by email consultation or by phone call)  if you can bring charges against the brothers for abuse of POA and/or elderly financial abuse.

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 OZNE - you are right to keep at it... You may have some inheritance assets coming to you, hey your family members or brother will not tell you anything, obviously.  And you're right, lawyers cost a lot of money.  If this is a case of missing inheritance, you might look at heir finders or estate & probate research companies.... It's very hard trying to trust or inheritance research yourself... I did some research on  a lot of the established heir finders or heir search firms... Trust and probate & estate research firms... really expert heir location, heir search, is not always simple.  Unfortunately, tracing missing heirs or unknown beneficiaries, to help heirs recover assets, is often a terrible tangled mess to deal with!  Sometimes missing heirs or unclaimed inheritances are simple enough to identify, and I have talked to some heirs or beneficiaries like yourself without trust and estate attorneys they can depend on.   I've found most trust and estate attorneys in the U.S. to be very good at finding missing heirs and beneficiaries... same in the UK,  but an heir finder firm that can locate missing inheritance won't cost anything up front with the right company.  They will hire the estate attorney in fact, top trust and estate attorneys.

Edited by Findlaw_FN
Your post has been edited for violation(s) of our Community Guidelines. Please refer to the FindLaw Community Guidelines for more information about the guidelines around decorum related to forum use. –FindLaw Moderator

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This time, it's less thinly disguised spam. This time, buried inside the far too long script, you remembered to offer the name of a preferred company.

Geo, should you want to continue posting on topic (skipping any referrals/reference to a company), I'd shorten script by 70%, and also not revive old threads.

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I need advice on this strange situation of mine.  My mother's father and brother live in the D.C./Maryland area and my mother's mother, my mother, and myself live in North Dakota.  Throughout my life I would communicate with my grandfather regularly through telephone calls and met him once. Over the past few years, both my grandmother and mother pass away and my grandfather makes it a point to tell me directly that I am in his will. He passed away one year ago.  My mother's brother was the wills executor.  I asked about how it all went and he tells me there was enough to barely cover funeral costs. I didn't push the issue any farther.  Today, I get a message from my cousin that someone has specifically used my name to file a claim against the will. I made no such claim.  Now my uncle wants me to write a signed letter stating my intention of not filing a claim.  I worry if I do this I may sign away what's for me. 

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12 hours ago, JMODE87 said:

I worry if I do this I may sign away what's for me.

 

No need to start your own thread at this point. The answer is simple. Go to the probate court and look up the probate file. Read the will and the file. If there is anything in there for you, don't sign anything until you get the issue resolved. Somebody might just have to pay you for your signature.

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