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John Legal
John Legal, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 15 years legal experience.
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my mom passed in 2006 when i was 12. im now 19 and i was her

Customer Question

my mom passed in 2006 when i was 12. im now 19 and i was her only heir. she had a house full of things. over the years my aunt has denied me to havemy mothers things. she split them between her and her kids. i have NOTHING. when my mom passed she took money from the estate and made payments to herself and other family members. not sure which family members. i cant find a lawyer who will look into my case. how would i go about suing her? im in college now and i wont have enough money to pay my tuition. i have documents to prove all my statements are true.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John Legal replied 4 years ago.
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

What documents do you have?

Have you checked with the probate court in the county where your mother passed away to get the records from your mother's probate file?

Do you have bank statements showing account balances right around your mother's death?

Does your aunt have any assets that you could collect upon now?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes she has assets i could collect upon now. but theyre very limited. im not sure what shes done with the rest. a lot of things are now broken. i have the documents from probate court, that states she made payments to herself and other family members. im just exactly sure how to read those documents

Expert:  John Legal replied 4 years ago.
Taylor,

I do not think your case is "too old." You have only been an adult for a couple of years at most. You can still sue the aunt as administrator for breach of her fiduciary duty to you as an heir of the estate. Since up to two years has passed you need to get this together as soon as possible because the statute of limitations started running when you turned 18. Send me the name of the city where the probate court is located and I can send you some attorney options.

The bad news is that if you can prove that your aunt stole your assets then you (and the attorney) have to find a way to get the value back from her by taking assets from your aunt. If your aunt does not have a lot of assets then all you have is a judgment against her that will not do you any good. I tell you this to be honest with you. Most attorneys that review your case are going to be looking at this.

You also most know how fees work and attorneys evaluate a case for fee potential. practically, as a college student, I am sure you do not have money to pay a lawyer thousands of dollars at an hourly rate to pursue this in hopes that you win. You will be asking the attorney to take this on a contingency (meaning that they only get paid if they will AND COLLECT). If the attorney sees your aunt as not having liquid assets to collect against then they are not going to likely want to take on your case. The amount of the estate is another practical question. If you are talking about a few hundred thousand then an attorney getting a 1/3 contingency fee will make a fee of $30,000 +/-. If this is the case it is probably worth taking. If the total estate is $20,000 then a 1/3 fee would only be worth $6,000 +/-. The attorney will spend that in time before even getting to trial so it would not be worth the attorney's time.

I cannot provide you with legal advise. I have provided you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you find online, should not take the place of having a consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.

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John

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

cuyahoga

Expert:  John Legal replied 4 years ago.
Taylor,

Sorry for the delayed reply. I logged off for the night prior to your response.

Here is a list of estate litigation attorneys in Cuyahoga County. I would contact the highest peer rated lawyers first. These are lawyers that have a high rating from other attorneys in their area. You will need to copy and paste the link below into a webpage. I cannot get my justanswer page to make the link work at this time.

http://www.lawyers.com/estate-litigation/cuyahoga-co/ohio/law-firms/?N=0&tier=2&rad=0&sort=2&srt=y
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

wasnt provided with enough information. bad reviews of website provided.

Expert:  John Legal replied 3 years ago.
Taylor,

I gave you a website that has been a company that lawyers have used as a referral source for decades. Lawyers.com is the consumer friendly version of Martindale Hubbell. It is the only company that provides ratings of attorneys by their community peers.

I am not sure what your concern about the site is all about. I certainly have provided you significant information including getting you to a site full of good litigation attorneys. I would ask that you reevaluate your rating.

John