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Go Back   ECCIE Worldwide > General Interest > A Question of Legality
A Question of Legality Post your legal questions here (general, nothing of a personal nature)

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Old 09-19-2023, 03:11 AM   #1
Brooke Wilde
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Question How do you figure out if someone left you something in their will?

I have a friend whose father passed away about 10 years ago.

Out of the blue she mentioned to me that her dad had a bunch of stocks & an IRA that was supposed to be split between her & her brother.

He also had a life insurance policy. She said she received the check for 1/2 of his life insurance, 1/2 of his bank account & 1/2 from the sale of his house, however, she does not believe she received 1/2 of the stock & IRA.

Her brother is the executor of the will & she absolutely refuses to contact him. They have a strained relationship & have not spoken in a decade.

How would she find out if she was given everything her dad left for her?

Could she call the attorney that originally handled her dad's estate?

It's been around 10 years - would he still be responsible for handling the estate or have any record of it?

He lived & passed in New Jersey if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance for you time & help with this matter!
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Old 09-19-2023, 03:55 AM   #2
LayingPipe
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Wills are public records after the person has passed. Wills can be contested for 2 years in Texas unless there is fraud. Go to the county clerk website where the person passed to start.
https://www.texasinheritance.com/lea...will-in-texas/
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Old 09-19-2023, 03:42 PM   #3
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10 years ago in New Jersey? As Tony Soprano might say,


"Fugadaboudit."
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Old 09-19-2023, 04:07 PM   #4
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Typically all the assets are transitioned to cash for easier distribution. From my experience, in Missouri, a court will review the final distribution before the estate is closed.
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Old 09-19-2023, 05:15 PM   #5
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The Executor of a Will is often granted the power to alter the distribution schedule, based on his own judgement. For example, if, say, he believes that money distributed to your Friend could cost her Government benefits, he can redirect her ''share'' away from her.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FyGHjxsr28o
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Old 09-20-2023, 11:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooke Wilde View Post
I have a friend whose father passed away about 10 years ago.

Out of the blue she mentioned to me that her dad had a bunch of stocks & an IRA that was supposed to be split between her & her brother.

He also had a life insurance policy. She said she received the check for 1/2 of his life insurance, 1/2 of his bank account & 1/2 from the sale of his house, however, she does not believe she received 1/2 of the stock & IRA.

Her brother is the executor of the will & she absolutely refuses to contact him. They have a strained relationship & have not spoken in a decade.

How would she find out if she was given everything her dad left for her?

Could she call the attorney that originally handled her dad's estate?

It's been around 10 years - would he still be responsible for handling the estate or have any record of it?

He lived & passed in New Jersey if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance for you time & help with this matter!

two things.


first why did this woman wait 10 years to decide she didn't get all she was entitled to? i don't care about her strained relationship. if her brother won't respond a lawyer can make him respond.


now, she's probably outside any statutes of limitation to make a claim. depends on the state. don't know what NJ's laws are. that's what a lawyer is for.


second, her father made the brother executor. was that a good move? maybe, maybe not. a neutral party would have been a better choice. that said, everything an executor does is subject to approval and review by the probate court. so everything he filed is on record. including the all important declaration of settlement which must be approved by a judge. if he lied then he committed a crime (civil at least possibly criminal) by knowingly defrauding the probate court.


she states that the brother was executor yet there was a lawyer involved. the lawyer is certainly a place to start but all he can do is report what the brother told him. a lawyer should have been executor to ensure all assets were divided equally.


the father made a potentially biased decision to appoint the brother as executor (maybe he wanted that?) and the sister waited probably way too late to challenge the probate court's final ruling.


she's probably shit outta luck.
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Old 09-21-2023, 05:38 AM   #7
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The attorney that handled the estate should still have records, getting him to dig them up will be the biggest issue; but first she should check on what the laws in NJ are regarding estates.
Best thing would have been for her to get her own attorney at the time since the relationship was strained.
If it were round these parts I would recommend my buddy Weston:
https://www.westoncotten.com/
Tell'em Marcellus sent you.
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Old 09-25-2023, 12:52 PM   #8
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Thank you for all the replies thus far. I have not had time to read them because I have been so busy, but I will this week, then reply.

Thanks again.
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