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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2677
Experience:  Litigation Attorney with education focus on estate planning and tax
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I went to work elderly couple here in South Carolina

Customer Question

I went to work for an elderly couple here in South Carolina back in November of 2007. They had a small cabin like building here on their property that they allowed me to live in and eventually began to tell me that it was my home and that I should start spending money in it to make it nice. My job was to drive a septic tank pump truck for their small septic pumping business; and to be their truck operator and service tech. The gentlemen was a diabetic and has some serious health issues. I took on the role of having to get up in the middle of the night a lot of time and go up to their home and pick him up from the floor and get him back in bed. I also drove him any and every where he needed or wanted to go. In Feb. 2010 he passed away and I stayed on still and worked for his wife. I performed all type of personal care services for her as well. She told me time and time again that if her husband passed before her that she and I would become partners in the small one truck septic business. After her husband passed away she told me specifically that if anything happed to her the truck and the business would be mine. I am not certain that she put this in her will or not but I do know that she changed her will after her husband passed because she asked me to be a witness. My concern and my question is this: Her niece, who was her sole heir, was married to a lawyer who had her will and was to handle her estate matters in the event of her passing. Well shortly after the niece inherited the house and property, she filed for a divorce from the lawyer husband and told me not to take any calls from him or to have any communications with him. In February of 2015 she moved in her aunt's house and began to take control over the business. Even though, the year between the aunt's passing and her moving in I was put on the company bank account and was given full access to every aspect of the business. I ran the business solely by myself. I need to know if the aunt, my employer, and friend mentioned her wishes for me to inherit the business in her will. But I am afraid to stir the pot because if she is not following the aunt's final wishes it may not turn out to good for me to question or to challenge her actions without proof. I need to know if there is any way I can know what was in the will without her knowing that it is I that need to know the will's content. What can I do? I feel almost certain my employer included those wishes in the changes she made to her will after her husband passed. In the days before her passing she would never make a decision concerning the business apart from checking with me and thus adding, " well, it's your business".
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 6 months ago.
My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. If probate has been filed then the will will be public record through the court. All you need to do is find out what county the estate's probate is filed in (it should be the county in which she lived at her death). You can call the court clerk and should be able to get a copy of the field will (again probate must have been filed for this). If you are a beneficiary of the will, then by law the executor would contact you and have a fiduciary duty to you as a beneficiary. You can ask for what you will receive under the will. Unfortunately because you were a witness to the will, legally that means you cannot be a beneficiary as you cannot be a beneficiary and also be a witness to the will. If that is the case, then the will can be invalidated if it was not witnessed properly. That will not be a good thing as you will not receive anything if the will is invalidated as the assets will pass according to intestate succession (state law) and since you are not a blood relative, you will not take anything according to state law. You have nothing to lose by contacting the executor as they should just let you know if you were included, they cannot change anything, you either are or are not a beneficiary, the executor can unilaterally change the will because you ask questions. Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied. There should be smiley faces or number from 1-5 to choose from. This extra step will cost you nothing extra and will ensure that I will be compensated by the site.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 6 months ago.
Just checking back in, do you have any further questions?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
thank you for contacting me again I do have one further question. I indeed understood all that you included in your answer but my question is this: what exactly did you mean by, " probate must have been filed for this"?
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 6 months ago.
When I say "probate must have been filed for this", I mean that when probate (that is when the will is filed with the court and an executor is appointed to distribute the wishes of the person that dies). In order to get a copy of the will, probate must have been started as that is the only time a will will be filed with the court. The executor will also have to contact you if you are a beneficiary. If you have not been contacted, it means you probably are not a beneficiary. That is when you can get a copy of the will which is public record and read it for yourself. Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied. There should be smiley faces or number from 1-5 to choose from. This extra step will cost you nothing extra and will ensure that I will be compensated by the site.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 6 months ago.
Just checking back in, do you have any further questions?

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