Sensitivity with requesting info about estate

oneslipDecember 4, 2008

I apologize in advance if this is not the appropiate place to ask my question & I am very sorry if you have lost a loved one recently. My Grandmother recently passed away and I am the beneficary of the estate and was wondering when is it appropiate to ask about the will without upsetting the executor if they are still in the grieving process? It is a delicate situation and of course I miss my Grandma but she has had failing health for a number of years and and this was not unexpected. I would like to know where I stand so I can plan accordingly. I certainly do not want to come off as insensitive just curious. Would appreciate any advice. Thank you.

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I suggest waiting at least a couple of weeks. I feel it inappropriate to mention it now. Possibly someone else that is not beneficiary can mention it to the executor. There is a statute of limitations according to each state, so it could take a while before you receive anything. It all depends on how or when the executor files the will. In Texas, we have four years to file a will and in Dallas, we have to have an attorney to file it. Other counties don't require an attorney, so it may depend on whether the executor and/or family have the funds to file the will. It just really all depends. Again, my best recommendation is to get another family member to mention the will, after the funeral, a little time to grieve, etc. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 11:02PM
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Before anything can take place the executor will need the death certificate and that can take a few weeks. The doctor has to sign it then it has to be recorded with the court.
Do you know if your grand mother had a bank account? Are you on the bank account? If there is a bank account is there a POD on it?
You should be at the lawyers office when the will is read. It will have to go to probate before it is handed over to you. Before going to probate all debt have to be paid off in your grandmothers estate.
If it is left up to the executor to handle everything in your be interest it may mean it could be sometime before you see any money from the estate.

I'm sorry to hear of your loss.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 6:40PM
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Thank you for your follow ups. I'm not in any hurry to recieve anything from the estate as much as I would just like to know where I stand. The executer was the POD and joint owner on all assets so I'm not sure if probate would still be needed? I realize that then it would be up to the executer to follow the wishes of the will. It's a delicate subject to bring up.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 8:19PM
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Only the home, car and household items would go to probate.
Money in the bank with a POD does not. The problem with the executor being the POD and joint owner is that they don't have to give you anything. I hope this person can be trusted. Money brings out the ugly in people.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 8:41PM
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Would the home still go in probate if it was set up with a TOD? I hear what your saying about the executer & that's what I'm afraid of is that a normal honest trusted person can find ways to justify why they should not disperse the full amount of the estate, I have seen how money can bring out the ugly side in people. Hopefully this will not be the case. One has to remember that you have to live with yourself if you basically steal from the heirs and don't respect the wishes of the deceased. Thanks for all your feedback, it has been a big help.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 10:29AM
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I've never heard of a TOD. You need to see the will asap/ Don't wait to long. I'd think a week or two at the most would be plenty of time. After all if your the beneficary to the estate it should be going to you.
Also contact a lawyer most will do a free consultation. Write down question you have so that when you see the lawyer you won't forget what you want to ask.
You could end up having to hire a lawyer in your defence so that you can look over the will.

I went through a very ugly mess after my uncle past away with my sister. Our father was the executor and sole beneficary with the stipulation in the will that if he wasn't able to care for the estate it was up to my sister and I to handle it for my father. My sister stoled items out of our uncles house. Needless to say this hurt my father deeply.

Now that my father is in the nursing home he needs every penny he has for his care. I had no idea you could go through money so fast but with paying 4100.00 a month for the nursing home and taking care of two homes paying bills, not to mention all of the other add bills coming in. He needs medicare instead of his HMO that is good on the outside world not in nursing homes.
He's upset knowing the money is being spent on his care and I have to remind him that is why his mother saved the money up, to take care of her family when it was needed.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 5:55PM
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Barb, thanks for your feedback. I'm sorry to hear about your father's situation. We had to consult an attorney to qualify for medicaid for my Grandfather. That is horrible about your sister stealing from the estate. You are right about reassuring your father that he and his wife saved all those years to provide care for them. It is a shame how much these homes charge. One doesn't save all thier life to just give to heirs, they save for a quality of life and then if there is anything left over then it is nice to leave behind a beaquest. Thanks Barb, have a happy holiday.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 11:44AM
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Due respect to all, but......

Unless you are the personal representative (executor) there's no way you can be sure you are a beneficiary. You'd have to see the affirmed latest will to know that. People change their wills all the time. Maybe you're still there. Maybe you're not.

However, no harm in simply asking the PR about it after a month or so. This should not be received by them as an offensive enquiry inasmuch as your own understanding at the date of death was that you would be a beneficiary and you are wondering what to expect. Happens all the time. And -- if you are, indeed, a beneficiary -- it will put the personal rep. on notice that they must be conscientious about their duties....without saying so directly.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:09PM
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