How do I get half of whatever money my family member left? 21 Answers as of March 05, 2012

My Sister is the administrator; she refuses to talk to me about it either by phone or email. All I want is half of whatever is left. He passed over 3 years ago. The house was the only thing left and that was sold. He had a reverse mortgage on it, but there still be something left.

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Legal Center of Homestead Abramson & Magidson, P.A.
Legal Center of Homestead Abramson & Magidson, P.A. | John M. Abramson
You would have to check court records showing title to the home likely passed to the mortgage company or the bank at time of death pursuant to the reverse mortgage; then contact the mortgage company to determine if there was any 'equity' after paying off the mortgage debt. You would have to seek help from a court clerk initially. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/27/2012
Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law
Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law | Martin Barnes
My advice is to discuss this matter with an attorney. There are some questions/issues that your attorney will discuss with you. For example, was an estate opened. When was the estate opened Is it still opened or has the estate been closed. What assets were identified as part of the estate? What was your relationship to the decedent? Your question suggests that your family member died without leaving a will. Your relationship to the decedent is important in knowing whether you are a beneficiary of the estate. Disclaimer: The response above does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 3/5/2012
Geoff Germane, Attorney at Law | Geoff Germane
Well, it depends on your relation to the decedent. If you are an heir at law, and your sister was actually appointed by a court as the personal representative or special administrator, you should have received notice in the mail of those happenings. A personal representative has a legal duty to prepare an inventory of the estate of the decedent and all beneficiaries should get a copy of that. If the personal rep hasn't done this, you can file a petition in court demanding an inventory and/or requesting removal of the personal rep. An experienced attorney can assist you in determining your rights and best options.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 2/28/2012
Kershinik Law, PLLC
Kershinik Law, PLLC | Patrick Kershisnik
First you need to find out if the estate was probated. If it was and you were named in the will you need to motion the court to force the administrator to act. You can find out if it was probated by going to the county court and doing a search under your father's name.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 2/24/2012
Horn & Johnsen SC
Horn & Johnsen SC | Dera L. Johnsen-Tracy
Based on your question, it sounds as if there is a probate proceeding pending. If this is the case, you can file a petition with the court asking that the judge order your sister to provide a complete accounting and, if she refuses to cooperate, to remove her as the personal representative of the estate. This is assuming, of course, that you are indeed a beneficiary of the estate (i.e., you were specifically named in the will or you are an heir-at-law if there was no will). You may wish to speak with a Wisconsin attorney regarding your legal options within this estate.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 2/23/2012
    Lisa L. Hogreve, LC | Lisa L. Hogreve
    If your sister is the administrator of your family member's estate, that implies the estate was probated. In Florida, the probate administrator (Personal Representative) must hire an attorney to represent him or her as PR of the estate. This attorney cannot give you legal advise (and if the attorney does give you legal advise, you should not rely on that advise because the attorney does not represent your interests), but the attorney should answer questions regarding the status of the probate proceedings and should have copied you with much of the probate paperwork. Because that does not appear to have happened, I suspect that the estate was never probated. It is possible that most of this family member's assets passed outside of probate, through joint ownership with rights of survivorship or by way of beneficiary designations. It is hard to believe that a sale of real property, to which you inherited an interest, could have been sold without your involvement. However, the nature of the reverse mortgage may have given the mortgage company title to the property at the death of your family member. You may need to search the public record, or call the reverse mortgage company to find out if there would have been any proceeds from the sale of the home that heirs could claim. If in fact there is some money that your sister failed to split with you, you should contact an attorney. An attorney can evaluate all the specific facts of your case and make a recommendation on how best to proceed. It could be as simple as having the attorney write a demand letter to your sister, or it could mushroom into full blown litigation in the probate court.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    The DeRose Lawfirm | Peter J. DeRose
    My friend, you need a lawyer now. Typically, if this "administration" is being done informally, then she is likely dissipating the assets for her personal use but claiming they somehow are tied to the administration of the estate. If a case is filed in court, you should have received an accounting for the remaining assets. If the will says you split what is left, you will get your half. If the deceased died intestate-menaing without a will? and your sister and you are the only relatives , you will get half. HOWEVER-you need to hire an experienced attorney to force your sister to give you your inheritance. The longer you wait, the less will be there. Its that simple!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    You hire a lawyer 3 years ago. Since you didn't do that, it may be too late, but hire one now.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    The Barrister Firm
    The Barrister Firm | Christopher Benjamin
    There should have been a final accounting and distribution filed with the Court; you may take a look at the Court file to see what she has filed with the Court and if there is any that is untrue you should bring it to the attention of the Court or retain counsel for assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    Was there a Last Will & Testament? If so, the court should have made the division of property assets. If not, and there was no court division, then your sister may have taken the estate property without the favor of law.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    Attorney & Counselor at Law
    Attorney & Counselor at Law | John Hugger
    I would go to the probate Court and get copies of the documents filed, including the Will if the family member died testate. If you are named in the Will you can file a demand for notices and filings. If you were not named, you may be out of luck, unless there is no Will and you are a relation listed in the Colorado intervivos statute. Consult with an attroney ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    Harville-Stein Law Offices, LLC
    Harville-Stein Law Offices, LLC | Dean D. Stein
    If you were my client, I would file with the court where the probate is pending to get an Order for an accounting from the Administrator, and take other subsequent action if necessary.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    Elder Law Office of Mark Schaefer PC | Mark Schaefer
    You used the term administrator, so I assume your father or brother died without a will. You will need to contact a probate attorney to file a petition for an accounting. Unfortunately, there is no standard form for that petition. Your sister will then have to present what she received as administrator, what she paid out, and what she has distributed to heirs. If you agreed to a waiver of bond when she was appointed, then you should not delay. If you get a judgment against her you will then have to try to collect on it. If she was required to post a bond, then you have some security there as long as you have not agreed to allow her to be discharged and relieved of liability. Contact a probate attorney promptly.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    If she really is the administrator of the estate, then she has to account to the court, and should be copying you with those accounts. Go to the courthouse and ask to see the file for the probate of decedent's estate, and then you will know everything that has been going on.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    You should review the court records to see if you can tell where the estate is in the process. If you are unable to determine the status, you should consult counsel and retain them to review the file and advise you on the status.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    File an application in the Probate Court where the estate is on file and demand and accounting from the administrator and request a distribution immediately as well.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 2/23/2012
    Law Office of Robert J. Slotkin | Robert J. Slotkin
    Call the clerk's office in the county where he died and get the phone number of the estate's lawyer. He will probably talk with you. If that doesn't work, go down to the probate clerk's office yourself and ask to see the file. The file will contain a will (if there was one) an inventory of assets and any claims. If it looks like your sister is not recognizing you as a beneficiary and is boxing you out, you can either hire a lawyer or write a letter to the judge and complain. The judge will most likely call a hearing and invite you to attend.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/23/2012
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