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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7351
Experience:  30+ yrs. handling probate estate, wills, trust, inheritance & real estate related matters
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My mother passed away april 23 2015 in Michigan. I live in

Customer Question

my mother passed away april 23 2015 in Michigan. I live in calif. she didn't leave a will her death was unexpected. I am the eldest i paid for all the funeral needs. she didn't have much, a car, some family heirlooms, and a small life insurance policy. she , we were preparing for her to come live with me because she didn't want to live with my brother or sister who are both severe alcoholics. there are several other family members who can attest to the facts of what my mom wanted. now my brother and sister have all her possessions have received and cashed in her life insurance and have not contacted me or sent me any of the things she wanted me to have. I flew to mich. and was the only one with her when she passed, I was the only one she trusted and relied on, over the past 3 years I helped her pay her bills and rent so she could stay in her apt., but she never let me know how bad things were, her health the stress the abuse she was suffering because of them, how do I make them give to me the things that are rightfully mine according to her wishes? I can't afford to fly there and live there spending time in court. can I file fraud or small claims from calif.without having to appear in court? if so can I get court costs and lawyer fees from them also after a judge ment is reached? I was told today by 2 other family members that my siblings have money now from my mothers insurance. that my brother quit his job so that the two of them can travel. but I was also told that my sister could be dying, she is a severe alcoholic lives with my brother who also drinks. her skin and eyes are yellow, she has lost a lot of weight, she never eats pukes several times a day has diahrria bruises all over, swollen all over. he wants to take her on the road? she has a warrant for her arrest, I want to turn her in so that maybe they will keep her or put her in rehab. I want to file fraud charges against my brother for taking possession of items that mom left for me, plus my 1/3 of the life insurance and 1/3 of the sale of her car that she wanted sold but he's driving without title or registration or insurance

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 years ago.
Good Morning. I am truly sorry to hear about your family's situation. Your best chance to recover any money would be to sue the insurance company for paying out the policy to someone who was not the named beneficiary. You can do that from CA. For the other matters, those are civil claims so you cannot file fraud charges against your brother. Law enforcement will not get involved. You would have to open an estate for your mother in MI to be appointed as personal representative in order to filed a civil suit to recover the property. That would be impractical for the small amount of money that may be involved. Unless you are willing and able to confront your brother directly and demand that he turn over what you believe is legally yours, there is nothing more that you can do under the circumstances that you describe. I am sorry to be the bearer of unfortunate information, but to tell you otherwise would be dishonest.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm sorry but I can't really rate your answer you didn't really answer my question. It's not your fault I' sure you know what you're talking about. you see I don't even know the insurance company she used or have a policy number. while I was in Michigan I spent days trying to get my brother to go thru her things with me so we could sort everything out. but he said he wasn't ready yet, couldn't deal with it. I live 2300 miles away I still don't have any info I can't fly back just to try and force him to honor her wishes. I know I could hold the company liable if they paid him all the insurance but he would of had to forge my name or something. I think he and my sister filed a claim and was paid their portion and now I have to find out the company and policy to file my claim. but he and she are always drunk and when I call and ask anything that upsets him he hangs up. and now I heard my sister is showing extreme signs of liver failure. it's a mess and i'm just going to wait and see if my niece will be able to get the info I need from her mother or her other aunt where my moms belongings are stored. thank-you anyway.
this whole thing for the last 3 months has cost me thousands of dollars the trip the hotel car rental and I paid
90% of the funeral costs. I can't afford 45$ questions that don't help me

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 years ago.

I am afraid that when you signed up with Just Answer you may have misunderstood our function. We provide information only. We do not actually perform services for our customers. Under the circumstances that you describe, taking your impaired brother or sister to court is out of the question, both from a small amount of money involved and your financial condition. Unless you can convince one of your Michigan nephews or nieces to physically take the itemsthat you want and send them to you, your situation is hopeless. I am truly sorry about that.

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