How could someone legally get what they are entitled to in an estate? 15 Answers as of August 07, 2015

My boyfriend's father passed away in 2006 when my boyfriend was 14 years old. He received a copy of the will, and his father's ex-wife was executor. He was told he couldn't receive a lot of his inheritance until he was 18 or 21 (his inheritance included firearms and a car) which made sense. He is now 24 and hasn't received anything. He can't find the executor of the will, she has disappeared with the will and all of the estate. Is there anything he can do to get what he is owed? Can he sue her for his losses? What should be his next step?

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Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
His inheritance should have been held in trust for him until he reached the age of majority. The executor of the estate was responsible for that trust unless the father's will stated otherwise. So she or the named trustee is responsible for failing to turn the assets over to your boyfriend and can be held liable for failing to do so. Notify the probate court of the problem and hire an attorney to help track her down and retrieve the items or, if she doesn't have them, receive the financial equivalent.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/7/2015
Robert E. Giffin | Robert E. Giffin CPA
Check the probate court file and hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/6/2015
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
He can sue her for the losses, but he would have to find her to be able to actually recover anything.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/6/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
Generally speaking, when minors are beneficiaries of an estate they never receive anything (except low value keepsakes) until they reach 18. Any assets left to minors are sold and the proceeds are held by the court until they turn 18. (In rare circumstances, a valuable and unique item might be held in trust for the minor. For example, artwork or an ancestral home might be held but only if the estate has enough money to maintain the asset) The first thing he should do is check the record of the court where his father's estate was probated. That will give him a detailed account of what happened to each asset. Private courts hold their records forever, so a 10 year old estate is nothing.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/6/2015
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
He has to trace her down. I do not know if there is a national vehicle registration data base that he could use to find where the vehicle is. How you are going sue her has to wait until you find her.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/6/2015
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Seek the assistance of a probate litigation attorney to sue the executor for his loss.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Law Office of Darin Kanfer | Darin J. Kanfer
    Get a copy of the probate court file, take the will and speak with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    In Maryland, the son may be able to pursue action against the personal representative (executrix), but that may be difficult to do if she and/or the property cannot be located. One cannot really sue or pursue someone who cannot be located.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    First, go to the court and get a copy of the Final Account of the estate, which should show what he was entitled to. Then, I guess hire a private investigator to find the ex-wife. Now that I think of it, ex-wife couldn't have been the personal representative of the estate. Her right to serve would have been extinguished by the divorce. So much is fishy in this matter. Hire the investigator, find the wife, then talk to a lawyer about what can be done.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    If he still has a copy of the will, contact an attorney that knows probate law in Florida. The attorney will know the steps to tale to rectify this situation including suing the executor. More than likely he will have to foot the bill for hiring a private investigator to find her.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    Yes, he can pursue the executor. There may also have been a bond posted in the probate estate. Contact the county court clerk for the county where the decedent resided when he died.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
    If your boyfriend was only 14 when he inherited from his father's estate, a guardianship should have been set up for him and his inheritance deposited in a guardianship account. He should look in the probate court of the county he resided to see if there is any record of a guardianship or proceedings regarding his estate. Also, if he still has the will, it may have provided that a trust be set up for him until he reached majority. If there was no probate and only assets were a car and firearms, it will be difficult to track at this point if the executor is gone as well as all the assets.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Bunch & Brock, Attorneys-at-Law
    Bunch & Brock, Attorneys-at-Law | W. Thomas Bunch II
    First, go check the court record to see what happened in the probate estate. Second, if your boyfriend was a minor at the time, the proper procedure for a minor to inherit would be the appointment of a guardian for the minor. That appointment would have been done in the county where your boyfriend lived while he was a minor (which could be different than where the probate case occurred). Get copies of all of these records from the Court. This is probably a situation where the probate case can be re-opened or a separate action filed against the ex-wife for the failure to turn over the assets to your boyfriend. It is very important that he contact a lawyer to help him with this.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    Next step is meet with an Estate/Trust litigation attorney where the Decedent died. This is opinion is solely based upon the facts presented in the inquiry. Additional facts may be important and may change the analysis. If you are uncertain, seek legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Injured confer with attorney immediately, the fiduciary duty of the executor is a you very serious legal duty and she has to account for the property which is to be distributed to others. Based on the information you provided it would appear that he has a cause of action. He should move now because there is a statute of limitations for him to be making such claims and if you wait too long he will no longer be able to bring a litigation to enforce her responsibilities.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/6/2015
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