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My Mom has asked me to make sure that when she passes, not to notify her 2 sisters in Florida. They haven't spoken since my Nan died 35 years ago because her sisters threatened to sue me because my Nan and Pap, who raised me and had custody of me, left me everything in their will because my Mom's sisters were all married and had homes of their own but I didn't and was in college. They haven't even bothered with her as she has been dealing with serious health issues. They swarm in like a pack of vultures whenever a family member dies to see what they can get their hands on even though they are both wealthy. My Mom said she only wants a graveside ceremony with my brother and me in attendance and she wants her ashes mixed with her dogs and buried next to my grandparents. How do I go about letting her friends know when the time has come and honor her wishes not to have her sisters notified? She said she doesn't want them coming in at me again and fighting with me so that's why she doesn't want them notified. She knows how tough it was on me when I was 18, a college freshman, and having her sisters fight with me and threaten me. I had to leave school for a while because I had to spend every dime I had to hire a lawyer to fight them because I feel it's disrespectful for not complying with your parents final wishes. That's why I'm so conflicted because I want her friends notified and in our area, it's a law to have the obituary printed in the newspaper so it's officially on the record that the person has died. She has many great friends and I want them to know but I know her sisters still read our local paper online.

I agree that you can put the obituary in the paper after the funeral service.  Just include basic information and request all memorials to be sent to the mortuary.  Call your Mother's friends that she wants to have notified and tell them that there will be no public viewing or funeral services, just a private service for you and your brother.  I am sure your Mother's friends will understand.

I am assuming that your Mother lives in Pennsylvania.  Most states require, by law, that the executor (of the deceased person's estate) advertise the estate (in the "Wanted Ads") to “request all persons having claims against the estate of the decedent to make known the same to [the executor] or his attorney, and all persons indebted to the decedent to make payment to [the executor] without delay.” (20 Pa. C.S.A. § 3162.)(Pennsylvania Law)

Advertisement must be made immediately after the estate is opened in a newspaper of general circulation “at or near the place where the decedent resided” and also in the legal periodical designated by the court for publication of such notices. The ad must run once a week for three successive weeks, and must contain the language described in the previous paragraph, along with the name and address of the executor.

The Register of Wills in the county where the estate was opened can help you determine which publications to use. Call the appropriate newspaper and legal periodical for assistance in placing an ad with the required language.

Advertising the estate serves at least two important purposes. First, it allows any potential creditors or claimants one year to makes claims known to the executor. After a year, claims against the estate will usually not be honored, and the executor may distribute the assets of the estate without fear of claims from unknown sources.

Second, advertisement starts the clock ticking on the allowable time for closing the estate. By law, an executor may file an account of the estate administration with the court “after four months from the first complete advertisement” of the estate.

In some cases, there is no probate estate filed with the Register of Wills because all assets of the decedent pass to beneficiaries by means of a revocable trust. The trustee of such a trust may also advertise in the same manner and thereby foreclose claims made more than a year after advertisement. (20 Pa. C.S.A. § 7755.)  (Pennsylvania Law)

I am the executor of my Mother's Estate and some of the insurance companies that I contacted in regards to her insurance policies checked the Obituaries to verify her death instead of requiring that I send them a certified Death Certificate.

Unfortunately, no matter what you do, I would not be surprised if your Mother's Sisters find out about her death either from a newspaper or from some well-meaning friend offering condolences to the Sisters in Florida.  Develop a plan of action as to how to handle the situation in case your Aunts show up uninvited in Pennsylvania.  And as some of the other people have mentioned, if your Mother's Sisters show up, don't stress out about their presence, it is not your fault.  {{{Hugs}}}
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Agingmyself Dec 13, 2018
Adding to your information, in Indiana at least, an estate valued at less than $50,000 does not have to go through probate and be advertised.
The value of the estate can be reduced by putting assets into trusts, naming Pay on Death (POD) recipients of financial accounts, and TOD (Transfer on Death) of other assets like real estate and autos. This has to be done before death, if course.
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Heather, if I were dying and my children decided, contrary to my explicit instructions, to let my siblings know so that they could come and see me before I passed: I tell you, I would *haunt* them. And not in a good way.

This lady has told her daughter not to notify her estranged siblings of her death. What part of that is difficult to comply with? The death itself they will eventually discover through other means, but the notification itself is a courtesy she expressly does not want extended to these women.

You may be all in favour of reconciliation and noblesse, but how dare you assume that everybody must feel the same?
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Kerryangelarae Dec 13, 2018
I agree stick to your mom's wishes period! I took care of my aunt who has 4 grown children, why was I taking care of her? They are all losers except 2 of them, one disabled and the other on a ship 9 months out of the year. She had one daughter wh. NEVER called to check on her ever. Has not seen her in almost 10 years
I did not call her I waited for her to hear from someone else. Figured she never came to see her nor did she ever call to check on her so why should I call her when she passed?. I again feel you should do as your mom asked, have her put it writing and get it notarized that's her wishes stick to them.
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Not notifying the sisters formally is really easy. Don't notify them.

If this is about them not turning up at your mother's funeral, you publish the obituary after the event. If friends think it strange they will just have to cope.

If this is about preventing your aunts from ever taking an interest - sorry, but tough. The fact of a person's passing is a matter of public record. You can't keep it secret from anyone who is determined to find it out.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I didn't do a newspaper thing. There was nothing in my probate information saying this had to be done. My Mom had no money only a house that is not selling and now has leans on it. What I had to do was notify by mail her beneficiaries and interested parties of the Will being probated. Siblings are not entitled to each others estates so I wouldn't notify them. If no Will, you as daughter are closest living relative and brother.

When Mom went on Medicaid, I made sure all outstanding bills were paid.

Please, don't go against Moms wishes. You have been down this road before. Let your Moms passing be peaceful. A graveside service can be nice. U can have a minister say a few words. Children and close friends. If there is anything to probate, it will take a few days to start that. Do what has to be done, wrap it up. Then if u feel Aunts should be notified, then send them a nice note saying Mom passed on _______. At her request, we had a small graveside service with her children attending. Her estate has been distributed as per her wishes.
I would put no return address or include any contact information and I would screen any calls. That should be ur last contact with them.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Does she own her home? Some banks have the ability to do a simple land trust making it so that upon her death the home automatically becomes yours and your brother's, this avoids probate for the home. She can also add the two of you to her bank accounts as beneficiaries (POD) at 50% each also avoiding probate. Same thing with 401K investments. This way big things out of the way that sisters won't be able to "fight" over. Does mom have a safe deposit box? If so I hope either one or both of her children are on it as a signer. If not, the executor of the estate with all paperwork in hand will be able to access it once to remove her will and nothing else. This will be done under the supervision of a bank employee, then the bank will be required to inventory the rest of the contents for probate courts. DO NOT let sisters into the residence if they show up, ask them politely leave. If they insist, again politely ask they leave and state that if they do not you will be calling the police, that they (the sisters) are trespassing on your property. If they're any good you'll get tears and stories about how much they miss her. Best answer, Sorry for your loss, but she was my mom, thanks for stopping by, now you need to leave. Shut door lock behind you. Good luck to you. Family leaches, gotta love em.
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Reply to Takincare
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dinamshar9 Dec 13, 2018
Such good info and great tactic!!
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You don't have to specifically notify the sisters. Likely they'll hear about it from other people. By specifically not notifying (calling or writing or emailing), you'll have fulfilled your mother's wishes.

As for the funeral service: if your mother doesn't want her sisters at the funeral, notify the funeral home your mother did not want them at the funeral. You can provide names and photos (if you have any). The funeral home will have workers there anyway and they will run interference for you and turn them away.

My sister worked for a funeral home for 12 years, now newly retired, and turning away unwanted people was pretty common. In fact, when our mother passed in April my sisters had my brother and wife turned away.

If you only have a graveside service that you put together yourself (you don't have to have a funeral home do this), you can notify only those you want in attendance of the burial. Tell the invitees not to notify anyone else unless they check with you first.

If the sisters happen to turn up at your home, close the door on them. Don't let them in the house.
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Reply to MountainMoose
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Simply honor her wishes and don't tell her sisters. Tell those that she asked you to tell. End of story. Who cares if the sisters find out? Ignore them. It is NOT the law that an obit printed in the paper. Check your state for these requirement. In my state it is not. I just made arrangements for my mother who's in a nursing home and asked about public notifications. The FH said they give none, and added they are NOT required to publish them. The funeral home only has to notify the Social Security Administration. I plan to honor my mother's wishes, and say nothing publicly unless it is required. You should treat your mother's wishes with respect and only do what's legally required and what she wants -- no family dramas!
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Reply to ArtMom58
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There is no law in your state that requires an obituary to be published in the newspaper.

A death notice may have to be filed but those aren’t filed with the newspaper.

You cant prevent her sisters from finding out she died.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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It sounds as though your mother's wishes didn't include having her friends at the funeral. The best option may be to make it you and your brother, as she asked. Let her friends know by telephone, and say that there will be a public memorial service in a few weeks' time, to comply with her wishes. Get the legalities of the estate finished or well under way, before you make any public announcement. Then if difficult relations descend on you, it is already all over. You will have had the time you need to work through your own grief and the work that needs to be done, without having it made into a nightmare by people who did not care for her or for you. Best wishes, Margaret
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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I have a rule. I do whatever my loved one wants before death...and I do what I can live with afterwards. You will have to live with yourself after she passes. She will understand that you have to live in your world after.
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Reply to JohnandMom
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Llamalover47 Dec 19, 2018
Amen to that and agree!
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