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Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  Handle criminal matters in both state and federal courts.
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Our father sent us a signed and notarized will before he ...

Customer Question

Our father sent us a signed and notarized will before he died. When he died, he was with a woman who claims to be his wife. Her daughter from a previous relationship signed the will as a witness. When we tried to set up the will in probate, the person at probate court said it was a signed copy and not the original. My father designated me to be the administrator, but the spouse is trying to become the administrator of the estate, telling lawyers over a lawsuit which is part of our estate that she is the administrator and there was no will. However, when she found out she was not going to receive anything because it is my grandfather's money that he is passing to the heirs of his son, she all of a sudden found the original will. It appears also that she did not know we had a copy of the will. She tried to commit fraud with the SC probate court and to the lawyers in NY. Please advise what my recourse is.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 9 years ago.


what does the "original" will say as to heirs and who the administrator is to be? what is the status of the probate

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Samuel-II's Post: The idiot brought the original copy and I was named executor or administrator. She brought it because she is named in the will to receive a portion of the estate. However, she has committed so much fraud. When our father was dying she wouldn't let us see him. She lied about the day he died, she had him picked up from the motel by the funeral home and cremated on the same day and never had a funeral. The will specifically states I am to have the ashes, but she never let us know where they were and on and on. None of his family was notified that my father was dying.
Expert:  Samuel II replied 9 years ago.

geez. ok. so you are wondering what to do about the fraud? obvisously, the will situation is being taken care of with the probate. i am not getting a criminal connection with what you are describing this woman has done. has she stolen anything that is not legally hers, etc? the thing is if the will is in probate then the court will make sure everything is done properly. if you feel that she has things that should be accounted for and they are not - for instance, money in an account that her name was not on then there could be some criminal element. but it would be something that the probate court would handle along with the DA. you would need absolute proof of course, that something like that has taken place.

while it is very sad about the loss of your Father and the way this woman has chosen to do this it is not a crime for her, as his wife which makes her next of kin, it is not a crime for her not to tell your family that he has deceased. she should have morally or ethically but as a crime i am not making a connection. there is no obligation to have a funeral, either - not against the law. i am sorry. she should have followed his wishes, but she did not have to. the other thing is unless you can show the probate court that she intentionally was withholding the will and that it was not something that she suddenly "in her grief" came across, i do not know how you can prove intent.

again, if you can prove that she has stolen things that did not belong to her then you should make the probate court aware of your concerns. many times the adminsitrator of an estate will seek the advice of a lawyer, perhaps someone your Father was close to, for help in making sure the estate process goes smoothly because emotions run so high. in this case, she has caused you and your family extra pain at the time of this grief. there is a lot going on here and you really should think about talking to a local civil or estates and trusts lawyer who can make sure everything is done correctly and that all assets are accounted for. the police are not going to be able to help you with this

again, i am sorry for the loss of your Father