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 xavierjd Your Own Question

xavierjd
xavierjd, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3400
Experience:  20+ yrs in criminal, landlord/tenant, family, & small claims
Type Your Legal Question Here...
xavierjd is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Is there a statute of limitation for contesting a will in California

Resolved Question:

Is there a statute of limitation for contesting a will in California ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  xavierjd replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for using JustAnswer.com

 

When did the testator pass away?

 

Was an estate ever opened in court?

 

Thanks

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
testator passed January 19,2003. No estate was opened in court.
Expert:  xavierjd replied 4 years ago.

Are you sure that there was a will?

 

What is the reason you want to contest the will?

 

Thanks

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yea there was a will. I did not receive my share of estate.
Expert:  xavierjd replied 4 years ago.

Why was an estate never opened?

 

Who was the executor?

 

Have you seen the will?

 

Is there any specific reason that you have waited this long to claim your share?

 

Thanks

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Do not know why an estate was not opened. My brother was executor. I have seen the will.I Did not know there was a will until recently.
Expert:  xavierjd replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the additional information.

 

California has no time limit to open an estate. And, not all property is considered part of a person's estate.

 

You need to speak to the person who was named executor of the estate and ask why an estate was never opened. You, as an "interested party" (beneficiary) have the right to know why you never received your share of the estate. There may be a valid reason. For example, your monetary portion may have been eaten up by creditors, taxes, etc. If you were left specific items, if the items no longer exist, then you cannot inherit them. For example, you were left a particular diamond ring. Prior to the death of the testator, s/he sold it. Therefore, it no longer exists and you cannot inherit another diamond ring in its place.

 

However, if you believe that there is money/property that should have been disbursed to you, you should contact a lawyer who specializes in probate law. Sometimes, an initial consultation is free. You, as an "interested party" ( a beneficiary) may be able to prepare necessary documents to open the estate.

 

If the executor didn't do hs/her job, the court may lower or deny compensation and can replace the personal representative with someone else. The personal representative may even have to pay for any damages s/he or she caused.

A personal representative may be held liable for:

  • improperly managing the assets of the estate,
  • failing to collect claims and money due the estate,
  • overpaying creditors,
  • selling an asset without the authority to do so, or at an inappropriate price,
  • not filing tax returns on time,
  • distributing property to the wrong beneficiaries, or
  • distributing property to beneficiaries before all creditors have been paid, etc.


Once the estate is opened, the judge may subpoena the Representative/Executor for testimony and documents as to why the estate was never opened, and what happened to the assets.


If the Executor/Representative still has the assets, or assets equal in value, it will be ordered by the judge that those assets be put back into probate, and distributed accordingly. If the assets are no longer there, or creditors were not paid, the executor may be subject to damages as set forth above.

 

Below is a link to a California Probate Court website that answers frequently asked questions on how to probate an estate.

 

http://www.scselfservice.org/probate/prop/FrequentlyAskedQuestions2.htm#who

 

Again, you may wish to consult a probate lawyer, discuss your options and decide how you should proceed.

 

I hope you find this information useful and that you PRESS THE GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON so that I can get credit for answering the question. Thank you.

 

xavierjd, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3400
Experience: 20+ yrs in criminal, landlord/tenant, family, & small claims
xavierjd and 7 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.