How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33747
Experience:  15 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
19958803
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been appointed executor over my mothers last will and

Customer Question

I have been appointed executor over my mothers last will and testament, the funeral home gave my step father the death certificates knowing that their was a new will in play.told me to order my own that the step father paid for them that he gets them no matter what. is this true
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
.
Have you actually been appointed by a probate court judge to the position of executor?
.
Are you named as executor in mother's will, but haven't opened a probate case yet?
.
.
thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
first , not by the judge but I am the only executor listed on the will
i have no death certificates to probate the will , but they are on order
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, from a purely legal perspective, you are the presumptive executor of the will, but you don't actually assume that role and all the powers that come along with it until a judge formally appoints you to that position.
.
So with that said, the closest next of kin would be the one who the funeral home would be obligated to deliver any death certificates to if they paid for them. And here that is mother's husband.
.
So legally, the funeral home is correct to give them to stepfather. The fact that there may be a dispute about mother's last will wouldn't affect the funeral home's obligation.
.
.
thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So until i get my own certificates and get the short certificates the husband has legal rights to move moneys and close accounts that are in her name? How do undo what he is now doing
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
""So until i get my own certificates and get the short certificates the husband has legal rights to move moneys and close accounts that are in her name?""
.
.
No, if there are accounts in her name solely, he would have no legal authority to do anything with them. A death certificate doesn't give someone the power to do anything with the deceased's assets. It is just part of the process of filing a probate case to settle the estate. Only the executor named in a will has the legal authority, once appointed by the judge, to take possession of the assets of the deceased.
.
He would only have authority over any joint accounts that they owned together because once she passed, he would become the sole owner of those accounts and anything in them. But they don't go through probate because they pass instantly to the surviving owner.
.
So the death certificate won't help him do anything unless he files to become executor with some other will. Then you would be notified as a "party in interest" of his petition and could appear with the newest valid will and the judge would name you executor instead of him.
.
.
thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
he has a will from 1989 the he has probated, the new will is this year current. his will names him as the executor. the question would be can I undo what he has done.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Yes, if the new will is properly executed and witnessed, the very first paragraph of it should state that the new will revokes any previous ones so the old will is invalid. As soon as he files a probate case, you can submit the new will to probate and, assuming it has been properly executed, the judge would rule that the old will was void and of no effect and that the new will controls.
.
.
thanks
Barrister

Related Estate Law Questions