What would a show cause hearing be used for in someone's estate? 22 Answers as of February 11, 2013

The person who became executrix ended up forging the judge's signature on her ex-husband's estate so she could do what she wanted with his things. Not sure if the judge knows that, but a year later, there is a show cause hearing scheduled. I'm just wondering if that sort of hearing is routine or if she stands to get in trouble. She has numerous other court proceedings, with forgery on a car title as one of them.

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James Law Group
James Law Group | Christine James
A show cause hearing is usually set when someone has not done something they were supposed to. Not sure if the Judge would know of the forged order, but if you know about it and you feel it is appropriate, go to court and discuss the issue with the Judge.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/11/2013
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, a show cause hearing may be scheduled to force a person to "show cause" why she has done or has not done a particular act. She may face consequences for forging signatures, but it is unclear from the facts presented whether this show cause hearing is related to forgeries.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 2/10/2013
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
Generally a show cause hearing is an opportunity for the person cited to show cause why "they should not be removed, have a judgment entered against them, be held in contempt of court, etc." Absent showing "good cause for the neglect, etc.", bad things (removal, judgment, contempt, bench warrant, etc.) usually happen to the person cited.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 2/8/2013
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
There are two possibilities: Some courts issue an order to show cause routinely if a probate is open more than a reasonable length of time. In that case, the court merely wishes to know what plans the executrix has for closing the estate. Or, it's possible that the forgery was somehow brought to the court's attention, in which event there is a real problem for the executrix. In any event, the forgery should be called to the court?s attention, preferably by filing the appropriate papers before the hearing.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/8/2013
Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
That is a possibility that the judge knew something was up in this case and called for a show cause hearing. Or one of the beneficiaries knew what the personal representative did and, even if they didn't tell him, I'm sure he would know his/her signature. Show cause can be for any number of things. Not necessarily one particular thing.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/8/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    It is not usual to have a Show Cause hearing for a probate matter. At a Show Cause hearing, the person is defending against some issue before the court.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    Without knowing more information it is not possible to know the details of the Show Cause hearing. However, it is very possible that the person who took these actions can get into trouble for taking such actions.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Dennis E. Valentine Law Firm
    Dennis E. Valentine Law Firm | Dennis Valentine
    If the estate is being administered in Colorado, a show cause hearing could be used to resolve any number of issues. You would need to contact an attorney quickly to get advice as to what you should do. The executrix could be proposing an action and asking for authority from the court to take that proposed action. That can be done by telling the court and other parties about the proposed action and setting a "non-appearance hearing" to give other parties to the estate such as beneficiaries an opportunity to object to the proposed action. The party objecting must file an objection prior to the date scheduled for the non appearance hearing and then set an actual time for the hearing. This is very general advice. An attorney would have to know about the show cause hearing to advise you what to do in your specific situation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    A show cause hearing is not routine; it can happen for something relatively innocuous, like missing the deadline for filing an account. It can be more serious, and involve potentially removing the PR. Of course, if a judge becomes aware that his or her signature was forged on a legal document, that's going to get capital-S Serious.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Randy M. Lish, Attorney at Law | Randy M. Lish
    I have never had an order to show cause hearing in a probate matter. I think that the judge has some questions about what has been done, and wants the executor to present evidence showing why he or she should not be held in contempt for their conduct.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Lampton Law Firm LLC | Norman Lampton
    This site is not a substitute for competent legal counsel!
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    A show cause hearing is not unusual, but there are too many moving parts and variables to be sure in your case what this is about. The documents need to be reviewed by an attorney. Yes, she could get in trouble for this. Big trouble.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
    Heirs do such illegal, questionable, immoral acts upon a death. Their sense of entitlement coupled with greed, drives them. Yes, she could be questioned to determine, at show cause, whether she involved herself in self dealing as the executor, whether any titles to vehicles were forged or even the signature of the judge. She could find herself, if proven guilty, not only financially liable but criminal as well. Just because estate was closed, new evidence learned still can reopen it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    The "show cause" hearing you mention is probably a hearing to "show cause" why the court should not take some sort of action, for example why it should not hold someone in contempt, open a judgment entered against someone or some other action. It is usually initiated when a person files a "Petition for a Rule to Show Cause Why (insert the specific remedy being sought)" The petition is presented to a judge and if the judge is satisfied with it they will issue a "Rule to Show Cause" directed to the other party to respond and state why the requested relief should not be granted. The party usually has 30 days to respond to the petition. Should the responding party (called "Respondent" contests the allegations of the petition the judge often then sets a potential hearing date at which evidence can be submitted to determine the merits of the petition. If, at the end of the hearing, the judge is satisfied that the evidence sufficiently proves the allegations of the petition they will order some or all of the relief being requested. If the judge is not satisfied that the evidence supports the allegations of the petition they will enter an order dismissing it. In this situation you would have to examine the allegations of the petition to determine whether the hearing concerns potential misconduct of the during the administration of her late husband's estate or if it concerns some other matter.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    A show cause hearing can cover many areas of the Administrator's duties. These are public hearings and anyone can attend. Your financial plan is not complete until it is co-ordinated with your estate plan. Will your family be provided for when you are gone? Without a Will, the court will decide.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
    She can be in trouble. A show cause hearing is to show the Court why something was done or not done.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Scott Polsky
    Scott Polsky | Scott Polsky
    This is not a matter for an estates attorney. Forgery is a criminal act. If she has a hearing regarding a potential forgery, especially a forgery of a judge's signature, I strongly recommend that she consults with a criminal attorney immediately. It is very likely that an adverse decision could result in a prison sentence.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Huddleston Law Group, LPA | C L Huddleston
    It is likely a hearing to "show cause" why she should not be removed as Executor, although I doubt she forged a judge's signature because everything with a judge's signature gets filed in the judge's own court by court personnel. If she did that, she would almost certainly be found out and end up with some jail time. In fact, if she has any priors, she probably lied on her Executor application. Anyone who has actual knowledge of these behaviors should report them, or the good of the public and the integrity of the legal system.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
    She probably did not do something she was supposed to or did something she was not supposed to.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks | Terrell Monks
    In Oklahoma we can go to the Court Clerk and read the court file. There we will find the full order, and that order tells the recipient what he or she must show/do to stay out of trouble.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Alston & Bird | Jack Sawyer
    A show cause hearing is not routine.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry | Charles R. Perry
    There should be something on the documents for the hearing that explain the issue before the court. This type of hearing is usually set when there has been a violation of a court rule or a judge's order, but it really could be almost anything. If you are sure the judge's signature is a forgery, then the forgery should be brought to the court's attention and appropriate action taken to protect the estate and punish the executrix.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/8/2013
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