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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118765
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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I do have another question, FAMILY LAW. My husband passed

Customer Question

I do have another question, FAMILY LAW. My husband passed away April 25, 2013. We had been together for ten years, but only married for 3.5 months. He and I had written wills out after our marriage, more to 'solidify' our union for us. We had some unclaimed funds on the California Controllers Site under such. I have gotten back probably three - four items one for $5K which was a deposit we had put down on a second hone many years ago. I completed the paperwork, had it notorized and submitted it. Within two weeks, I had the full refund. Thehouse in his name which we'd shared for ten years he was doing and submitting the short sale paperwork before he passed. I received a notification for the amount of $89k which had escheated to the state of California after the trustees sale. This was immediately after he'd passed and I didn't even see the mail until probably six months later, minimum. I was advised that I could recover that money from my husband's estate. But, in order to obtain the money PRIOR to three years, I would have to retain a probate attorney to do this for me. I did the research all on my own (I should have known better, this guy was worthless!). I retained him to get 4% of the total after I received the amount. There were no other creditors listed and because it was under $100k there did not need to be a title of heirship. Well,without my knowledge, this attorney had contacted (somehow???) my husbands only daughter to whom he had been estranged for over five years. Biut, this attorney insisted that "it's the law, we must contact her." Well, I had the will and several documents showing thieir estrangement. There were three court dates set for this. The attorney I had retained did not feel it was necessarly to actually show up to represent my interests in court, instead he did a 'court call', which I had never heard of, but I'm told some attorneys do so. Before the last hearing, this attorney had called me and said his estranged daughter (if you could even refer to her as 'daughter' as she never was one) had personally called my attorney (???) and demanded one half of her father's estate. I could NOT BELIEVE IT!!! And the attorney friends and family that I do have were astonished that he'd even contacted her??? They explanined to me that if it was undert $100k, they don't do so. And the will?! This attorney called me the day after the last court hearing. "The judge dismissed the case without prejudice." He explained to me that meant that I could file again and after I'd forked over close to $1,000.00 to file this case!!! He stated that my husbands daughter was there with the DA??? I wanted to know WHY he was with her, and WHY this case was dismissed??? He told me ABSOLUTELY NOTHING OTHER THAN WHAT I JUST STATED TO YOU. So now, I don't now what to do from here. I feel commpetely angered and disgusted that that worthless person (to her dad, she treated so badly) should receive ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, as the entire time we lived there, not ONCE did she even show her face, she was just plain mean & nasty. Now it's come to this? I was responsible for the house payments as well, but my name was not on the deed. What is your advice now? Is there a timeframe (deadline) set in place so I can't file again after a certain time? Will I be fully responsible for the court filing fees again? If I do have to include her, even with a handwritten will, can she not fork out the filing fees? My husband had some back taxes that I'm now responsbile for allnd that is actually what I would use the money for. This should be more than apparent, as I can certainly have a letter from both the IRS and the FTB drafted and submitted. PLEASE ADVISE. Thank you.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
You need to file your own probate case and open the estate for probate and FILE THE WILL with the court proving who is entitled to the funds. That is the only way you will recover any of those funds is through probate.
At law, his sole daughter is his heir at law, but because there is a will the will can change inheritance rights. So you need to return to court file probate file the will and seek to get an order that those funds are your funds based on the will.
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