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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12132
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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My grandfathers estate listed me as a secondary beneficiary

Customer Question

my grandfathers estate listed me as a secondary beneficiary if my father was not capable of being the executor or died. my father is not competent to make decisions and i have medical proof as well as audio proof that my step mother is making all decisions regarding my grandfathers estate. she has obtained a power of attorney form on my father and had her name added to my grandfathers property. i also have a check written out of my grandfathers estate account where she paid to get her hair done. what are my legal rights?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I actually meant medical proof that my father is not of sound mind
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer. It will be my pleasure to assist you.I'm not sure if your father has already been formally appointed executor of the estate or not, but regardless, you can petition the court to have yourself appointed as executor due to his inability to manage the estate, and for a formal accounting of any assets and expenditures in the estate. You can also ask the court for an order that any funds wasted by your step-mother be paid back. If you have further questions or need clarification, kindly use the REPLY feature, I'll be happy to assist you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what do you mean by formally appointed? he passed in april of 2010 and they had it probated Jan 2014
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
I mean even though he was named in your grandfather's will or trust, he would have had to file a petition for probate and been appointed by the judge as executor to make it official.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if it is on record at the court house does that mean it is official?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Perhaps. There would be a signed order called an "Order Appointing Executor of Estate" or something similar on record. You said the estate was opened in January of 2014, so it should be on record, as this is one of the first things entered by the court so the executor can handle the affairs of the estate. Is the probate estate still open?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
im just curious because i was living in the home my grandfather had because that was his wishes. ive been renting it out for 2 years and keeping it up my step mother has tried everything to get control and keep me from renting it out. she recently had the water meter cut off because she works at the water dept. after i went to speak with someone they informed me her document over rides what the will states which im guessing is a POA. They wouldnt allow me to see the will my wife informed me probated wills were public record and when i went to my court house where i live i obtained a copy of the will. that is how i found out that my grandfather named me
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I got a copy of the will in November of 2014.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Almost the entire probate file would be public record, not just the will, actually. But with the will filing, was a petition for probate filed?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it has a note on the last page stating presented to probate 01/24/14
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
im sorry the will says i am the personal representative if my father fails to cease or serve
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is that the same thing
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Hmmm...I'm thinking just the will was filed. However, if your grandfather left assets when he passed away -other then those held jointly with his spouse, for example, or those that were "paid on death" (such as life insurance) and named a beneficiary, then a petition for probate has to be filed, and an estate has to be opened so that the final debts of the estate are paid, and assets can be passed to those beneficiaries. Now, typically, where a decedent was married, all assets are passed to the spouse since they typically own everything jointly. And yes, an executor and personal representative are the same thing, a person responsible for settling the estate of a decedent. A beneficiary is someone who inherits from the estate.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if i access the call me option could i let you speak with my wife? she is better at talking about this stuff
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry, I don't call customers on this site, but I am more then happy to answer questions she may have if you post them here?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Who are the beneficiaries named in the will?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
im trying to upload the page because i really do not understand it
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Okay, your grandfather left his entire estate (after all debts have been paid) to his son, your father, Clyde, "per stirpes", which basically means if he had predeceased your grandfather, it would have been paid to his heirs, and if they had predeceased your grandfather, to their heirs, and so forth, down the line. The language about incapacity still entitles your father to the estate, but allows the personal representative (executor), upon their determination that the beneficiary is incapacitated, to pay that money to a relative or guardian for the benefit of the beneficiary.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the tenants were moving their stuff in when my step mother had the water cut off and changed the locks so they have not been able to get their furniture on 7/1/15 she placed a typed out eviction notice stating the had 10 days to remove belongings or they would be sent to the salvation army. on this document she had it notarized by her co worker, my wife is a notary and said it was odd the notary did not include her commission exp. and she thought her notary stamp was a little different. when we got home she searched the notary website and found the person who notarized commission exp in feb 2015 so i have reason to believe that any document she has recently obtained that was notarized is illegal.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
so basically if he put her on the estate and something happens there is nothing i can do about it? or what exactly does that mean?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
The other issue is that your step-mother doesn't represent the estate. Only an executor has the authority to speak for the estate. So she doesn't have the authority to threaten them with eviction, and she cannot send their belongings to the Salvation Army.Your grandfather didn't name your step-mother, and her POA doesn't supersede the Will. The executor of an estate cannot give or assign his power away by power of attorney or otherwise. He can sign documents prepared for him. If he is unable, or unwilling, to continue you can petition the court to replace him. If there are other family members they may then ask to take his place instead. Since it doesn't sound like a probate estate has been opened yet (just a will filed) I would talk to a probate lawyer in your area about petitioning the court to have yourself named (instead of your father) as executor so that you can manage the estate.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Did you have any further questions about this matter I could answer for you? If so, please reply and let me know. Otherwise, I would ask that you kindly remember to give my answer a positive rating as that is the only way experts on this site are paid for their time and information, even though you may have left a deposit. Thank you.