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Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102145
Experience:  Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.
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There was a will written between a father and son. The

Customer Question

There was a will written between a father and son. The father died. And the his son has been disinheirited bybhis step mother. Randy..the son.. has a witness that his aunt ( his fathers sister) plotted against randy to take the house that was stated in the will rto be randys. The aunt and stepmother ripped up the will and flushed it down thw toilet. The step mother then signed over all assets including bank accounts and deed to house to a neighbor. The witness saw the two women ripp the will and has come out with the truth months later. How does randy get back what was owed to him. How can he take back his house and money his father left him. The will cleaely stated that the father did not want anything left to his wife..all poseions and money go to randy. What does he do now after being betrayed by his stepmother and aunt? What kind of charges can these two woman face for destroting a legal will bewtween a father and son?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Can you please tell me:

1) When did the father pass away?

2) Did anyone file for probate for the father's estate?

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
March 19 2016.. i dont believe anybody filed for probate for esrate. No information is given to anybody. Its all secrets and deceptive actions
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. What the son wants to do then, is to file for formal probate. When someone passes away, then their estate has to be distributed. The problem is that without probate - with assets such as titled property or bank accounts (those that do not have a pay on death clause) - this is hard to do. This is because you cannot switch over the assets without an order from the probate court, and simply a Certificate of Death will not do. A Certificate of Death simply states that someone has passed on, but does not give you the right to really do anything in the deceased's name.

However, probate can also be used to establish whether or not there was a Will, and generally get relief for the situation. If the Court believes that there was a Will (and perhaps if another copy is found), then the Court may order the women return the assets. They can also be held in contempt and/or sanctioned, which would likely result in fines, but it would be unlikely that they would face jail (this would remain a civil matter).

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The wittness has also agreed if need be to testify that he read the will bedore it was destroyed and did in fact witness the two woman tear it up and flush it. The fact that the stepmother already signed over thw house to neighbor does that become void if in a courtroom a lwasuit is presented to her by the son..the victom?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

This is very helpful. However, keep in mind that just because she states that the Will was destroyed does not establish who got what under that will. So if another copy exists, that would be even better.

No - the party can be made to sign the deed to the rightful owner if the Court determines that someone else should have received it under laws of succession, if the neighbor knew or should have known that something was not right. OR, the mother may be sued for the value. It really all depends on what happened when and certain nuances.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Since thw stepmother witnessed the father and son create and sign the will and was present while it was created...Does that mean she can no longer be a beneficiary..correct? She knew she would bw getting nothinf. Thats why she had his aunt help and ripp the document and the only copy .
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

No, she still can be. She can be the beneficiary if she is written into the will even if she was there at the execution, if this is what you mean. But if she is not written in, then she would not be. That is, assuming another copy can be found or she can admit what the old will said in court.

As a surviving spouse, she can still try to claim a part of the property - see HERE. But she can also be sanctioned by the Court, sued for fraud, etc, and that will reduce the overall assets she ends up holding.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. She knew she would get nothing. his father had every intention on leaving her with nothing. He wanted it all yo go to randy. She sold off all of his fathers rifles and guns and even the bank account is under neighbors name. He has not seen one penny. And she is continuosly trying to kick him out on the street . This house is rightfully his. But he just does not know what steps yo yake first to get it back without a will to back him up
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Then the son wants to file for probate ASAP. The longer he waits, the less likely the chance that he would be able to prove his case.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can u file foe probatw online? Or can a representative in his behalf file for him?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Some counties allow filing online, but some do not. It depends on your county. However, an attorney is recommended. Probate is complicated. So if this is what you mean by a representative, then yes, a representative can and should file for him.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.