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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34300
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My mother died in March 20, 2013. She did have not a will.

Customer Question

My mother died in March 20, 2013. She did have not a will. All of her assests had a name on them.. a son, grandchild, etc. I lived with her all of my life. She died at age 95. She had four sons. One son died three years before she did. I did not paid many expenses when I was young. Over time, I started to pay for much of the expenses.
Her assests consisted of saving bonds, her house and her saving and checking accounts accounts. Twenty years before her death, she put my name on the house deed (jointly) as long as she could live there. Ten years before she died, she put my name on her accounts jointly.I had my own two accounts(my name and two accounts with her name and my name. We did share expenses over time. I paid for all her expenses (nursing home, funeral, grave marker, funeral lunch, lawyer, inheritance taxes. My brothers say they do not owe me any monies. I say they owe for expenses after the day of her death. I received more than $40,000 more than them. All the bonds have primary or secondary names on them. None of the bonds had only my mother"s name. Some bonds had one name or two names(sons, granchidren, wives) My oldest brother created an estate and said he doesn't have to pay for any expenses. I believe I have to pay for the expenses before her death. Can I take legal action against them for the expenses after her death(about $6,000)
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 7 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

Expert:  Barrister replied 7 months ago.

Do I understand correctly that someone has filed a probate case to settle her estate?

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Were all the additional expenses after her death for things like funeral, burial, marker, etc.?

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Have you submitted a claim to the executor of the estate for reimbursement?

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How long ago did brother open an estate?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I was the executor of the estate. I paid the inheritance taxes and lawyer fees. etc. I hired an lawyer to file all the legal papers. - Tom
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
My brother did not file an estate. I told my brother since all assests had names after her death, there was no estate.
Expert:  Barrister replied 7 months ago.

My oldest brother created an estate and said he doesn't have to pay for any expenses.

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I don't understand your comment above if brother didn't open a probate case??

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And just to be clear, you went to court, filed a probate petition to be named Administrator of the estate and then settled the estate and distributed any assets that were solely mother's? (i.e. personal property, jewelry, furniture, anything not jointly owned, etc.)

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Are you asking your siblings to help you with reimbursing you for the bills you paid after mother's death?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No. He did not go to probate case. Exact meaning of probate? He created an estate on paper, nothing more. I just went to a lawyer who said there was no estate because every assest had a owner.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
They stuck me with all the bills since I received more money than them.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
All the bonds, house and accounts had names on them. I believe they owe me the expenses after her death.
Expert:  Barrister replied 7 months ago.

Ok, probate means that someone file a formal petition with the local probate court to open a probate case to be named Administrator of the estate and settle the deceased's affairs.

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So if no one ever filed a formal case in court...there was no probate.

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But I agree with the attorney, if everything was jointly owned or had beneficiaries named for the assets, there would have been no reason for a probate case because there are no assets in the estate.

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The problem here is that only her estate can be held liable for her final expenses like funeral, headstone, other debts, etc. The children or other relatives have no legal liability for that. If there are no assets in the estate, and no one pitches in to pay for her burial, then the state gets stuck paying for it.

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So I hate to say it, but if there was no estate, then there is no one you can get to reimburse you for those costs that you paid for the estate.

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It isn't fair... and they ethically and morally should kick in to help out, but legally they can't be compelled to do so.

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank You!. Good Work!
Expert:  Barrister replied 7 months ago.

You are very welcome. Glad to help out even if the news was kind of lousy for you...

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If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me.

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thanks much

Barrister