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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33554
Experience:  Estate Law Expert
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My mother died 8/1/15 with no will, and I am requesting to

Customer Question

My mother died 8/1/15 with no will, and I am requesting to be named personal representative informally in her estate as the only asset she had was a house. My brother died in 2010 leaving two adult children. I have attempted to contact them but I can't find current addresses or telephone numbers. I have sent two messages to each of them on facebook notifying them of the funeral which they did not acknowledge nor did they attend. I am filling out forms to file with the court and the form " Renunciation and/or nomination of personal representative" needs to be filed for all persons that have priority or equal rights for nomination or renunciation. How do I handle this form for my brother's children when they will not contact me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Further, if you get a message asking if you want to do additional services like a telephone call that message is automatically generated by the website and is not sent from me. I, like most of the experts in the Legal categories, do not do telephone calls due to issues with State Bar rules and other concerns.

You can't do anything with those forms unless the children cooperate. What you have to do is serve them with the papers and then if they don't file an answer or enter an appearance you just proceed forward and ask the court to do what you want done. By them not filing anything after being served it is essentially as if they are saying "we don't care what you do".

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have any way to contact them. How can I have them served if I don't know where they are and what form would I file with the courts to ask the court to do what I want done?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

You have to make a "diligent search" to locate them and after you have done so and are prepared to explain that search to the judge, you can then ask the judge for substituted service such as posting in the newspaper or by serving someone else who knows where they are located.

The pleading to get substituted service is a Motion for Substituted Service.

I'm not sure what you mean by " what form would I file with the courts to ask the court to do what I want done" since a probate requires a variety of different pleadings and filings and the exact ones depend on the specific facts and circumstances. To start the proceeding you file an Application for Probate.

You would seriously want to consider hiring a lawyer for this. Probate law is both antiquated and procedurally difficult and often makes no sense. In addition, you can be held personally responsible if you make any mistakes that interferes with someone else's rights. For instance, if you fail to notify a creditor properly and they aren't able to collect on a debt, whether you know of the debt or not, you can be personally responsible for the debt.

The attorney will usually require that they be paid at least a portion of the fee up front but you can be reimbursed for that by the assets of the estate.

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