Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Thanks for your question and good morning.Any funds here gifted to you are in fact unconditional gifts.The others would have no claim to them and you were wise to not return the funds.If you are a named beneficiary here of any accounts with right of survivorship the bank should contact you and allow you to obtain those funds.You would need a copy of the death certificate.If you are aware of the specific institutions she had money in you may want to contact them yourself here to see whether you were named beneficiary.You may also want to consider your own lawyer here to make sure that if she had a will that the others produce it and get it filed.The lawyer can also investigate the accounts on your behalf and otherwise legally force production of the information and will.I appreciate the chance to assist you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.Thanks again for letting me help you.Lawyer referral to protect your rights.
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Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX I live in DE my mother lives in PA. Not sure if that is of any importance. I had been advised by an elderlaw atty. to yes, hold onto that $50k, but do not spend it, since Medicaid could withhold payment of nursing care using their formula to calculate how many months needed to lapse prior to paying-and then having the nursing home come after ME for the $$.
So, as you saying then that I do not have to pursue anything financially and it is the BANK who would be contacting me, if I am still beneficiary, correct? And that I would have to produce a death certificate too, correct? Do I contact the hospital or the courts to obtain a death certificate?
Yes you are correct the bank here should contact you if you are the named beneficiary here of say a surivivorship account.And you should order a death certificate just in case as the bank would need it.You can order that here online..http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/death_certificates/And here is PA lawyer referral just in case..http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/lris/directory/main.cfm?id=PA
Lorrie--I wish you the best here and am sorry you are having to deal with relatives that have mistreated you.I know it can be hard.
Thank you very much. You have been very helpful indeed. I see that the states don't make much difference, so that is a good thing! Yes, the family dynamics can really be tragic, but I'm happy my conscience is clear. Thanks again!
Thank you so much, Ray. As it turns out, she died on Tuesday. All the typical family dynamics and drama, all of which I am not interested in the least as an active participant. I have no idea what transpires next, and from what I've gleaned via my children chatting with their cousins, she was broke. But she was a master of hidden agenda so it's anyone's guess what is clear between truth and fiction. I heard that you are no responsible for anyone's debts upon their death and also heard that the power of atty. ceases to exist when the person dies. I have a sneaky suspicion she did have a will. She balked at making one, and said she didn't want to deal with all that "legal stuff." But I remember years ago her going from one fam. member to another as the executor du jour. So assets remain to be seen. Thanks, Ray.
You're the best and I thank you wholeheartedly! My sincere gratitude. You will be highly recommended!
Well, the plot just thickened, Ray. Been contacted by a lawyer hired by the brother from whom I am sadly estranged. She already contacted my other brother (the one with whom I am friendly) and asked if he would accept a copy of my mother's will since no original can be located. She also left me a message on my machine today, apparently seeking the same acceptance of the will copy. With this much bad blood and friction in the family, I certainly am not feeling confident in accepting a photostatic copy of a will (that might not even be her last executed one) and may have been altered. The brother who was reached today said at first he would accept it-now that he has thought about it he is thinking as I am - no way should we accept this. My mother owned no real estate, so the only 'estate' would be either a few pieces of jewelry somewhere and cash in a bank. The whole thing is extremely fishy. In fact, it reeks.
Yes it sounds to me like there are other assets you don't know about.The lawyer is trying to decide how friendly probate will be or won't be.You certainly would not have to agree here to a copy of the will.They have to locate witnesses for the will which can be hard if they moved or deceased.It is very possible with a lawyer you may negotiate a better deal or invalidate the will and take your chances under laws of intestacy.( no valid will).http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/intestate-succession-delaware.htmlI agree with you that you have no need to sign anything consider a local lawyer to present your interests in all of this and to seek a better deal.
I appreciate the chance to help you again.
Actually, she was a PA resident and died in PA too so, Ray, I have no interest in hiring a lawyer. I would rather take my chances under the laws of intestacy in PA. My other "friendly" brother feels the same way. We feel that there is something here that is not very kosher and that the existing will copy is stacked in the other brother's favor. When this lawyer calls, I will tell her to proceed according to the law in PA for intestacy which, I assume, means that whatever she had would be split amongst the 3 of us. It would be an irony to see my (friendly) brother end up with something in the end of this sad mess. Odd an original cannot be located since I was able to find every other document under the sun for my mother when she needed me too (including my father's army discharge, etc.) and she had a safety deposit box until the end. Guess you see where I am going with this. Something is fishy.
Ray-Do I understand you to mean that the witnesses on a will have to still be alive and/or around when the testator dies? For a fact, I know of the one witness-that would have been my dear cousin, who died last October. Her husband was initially called to see if he could find an original amongst her things, but he said he could not. This all makes me realize: we need to update our own wills and other papers of importance and get them into the proper hands for safekeeping when finished. Thanks so much, Ray, for your answers.
I just read the link you so kindly sent me, Ray. Very interesting. If I may, I would like to give you a follow up (it may be months!?) after this is settled. I am curious as to how it will all play out and I will keep you posted. Cannot thank you enough.
No problem thanks again.If you can leave a positive rating it is always much appreciated.
Got an email copy. It was signed, but still stamped copy, and it was witnessed by two people as well. I am waiting for the accounting of her assets to decide it I want to contest it or not. Of course, as expected, left all to #1 child, no surprises. DE atty friend mentioned when copy is contested the preparing atty. testifies as to the validity of it, copy or not, and then the judge decides. Nothing is filed as of yet. I've not received anything in the reg. US mail yet either.
Well, about 3 wks. ago I mentioned that an atty my bro. hired called to ask my other bro and me if we would "object to the copy of the will" since no orig. can be found. She is asking this question via phone calls and again, today, she called to ask me if I objected (left a message on my ans. machine). I do not have funds to hire an atty. and I am not even sure if I want to accept this or object, without even knowing what her assets are. I thought that the court would make this decision, based on the intestate laws of PA, without there being an original of this will. My question is: am I obligated to state one way or the other if I will accept or reject? Her voicemail says she want to go ahead and "file this copy of the will." I am not comfortable with her from a procedural basis either. Shouldn't these things be done in writing, with forms and signatures and not a verbal over the phone reply or an email?