My mother passed away on May 5th 2019. She lived with me and I was her full-time caregiver for over a decade. In her will I am the executor, had power of attorney and was left all her assets. Now my older stepbrother who was not involved with her care, wants half of everything and is sending threatening text messages. There wasn't much left in the estate, and I can't afford an expensive attorney. She just wanted to make sure that I could take care of myself when she was gone, now he is trying to take the money she left me. My mother specifically appointed me executor of the will, because she knew what he would do to me if he was executor. He would sell the house, liquidate all the assets, pocket all the money and kick me out on the street. My mother even said: "He's my son and I love him, but he will try to take the gold out of your teeth."
I am disabled myself and my health issues are getting worse.
Any advice on how to protect myself from my unscrupulous stepbrother?
Go to the local police station and file an injuction of harrassment and an order of protection, his threatening texts are proof that he has malicious intent and that he is harassing you.
Let him file against the will, hopefully your mom left him something or specifically said she was leaving him out. That would simplify the situation. He can contest the will, anyone can, but you don't need an attorney to fight it, would be helpful, but if there is no money, there is no money. Ask the probate court how to deal with the situation and if they can recommend pro bono or legal aid counselors that will help you if you need representation when his case goes to court.
Get documented proof that you were her sole caregiver and any other written proof that you took care of her, statements from doctors, friends, bus drivers or whomever can attest that they knew you cared for your mom.
I am sorry for your loss and that you have to face this on top of losing your mom.
If you have a landline, either give it up, or change the number to an unlisted number and do not do call forwarding.
If HE -- your step brother -- had a key to the "house," change the locks immediately. As the executor, protecting the assets for legal distribution, the costs of changing locks should be an "estate" cost. And, it's your duty to protect the assets.
Are you on social media, like Facebook or Instagram, etc.? If so, just stop posting for a while, until the estate is settled.
Please, proceed to fulfill your duties as executor.
I'm a little confused as to how HE -- your step brother --- could sell "the house" --- who owns the house?
With all due respect, either your step brother is just being an a...hole and mad that he did not inherit anything, or there's something else going on here with the legal documents that I cannot understand.
Someone suggested changing your name. I would never criticize anyone else's suggestion, but I don't understand what a name change would accomplish since your step brother knows where you are. And, a name change doesn't erase anything that already happened in your prior name.
Some jerk judge can say she forgot and award him half. Nothing is guaranteed and the law is unpredictable.
My condolences on the loss of your mom, expected or not this is not an easy time and having to deal with this as well seems so wrong.
Then others come on this forum with siblings that are of no help and even cause grief. It’s a shame.
So either way, there can be problems, only child or having siblings. I love hearing from the people who have support from siblings. Wish everyone could be that way. I am happy for them and it gives me hope and faith in human kind.
Does anyone have suggestions how this could have been avoided for the OP with her brother? Is there always a risk no matter how wills are written?
Moms Will should have mentioned her son. Either leave him something or say why he isn't being left anything. But not to mention him he can contest the will. He can try to contest it if she did what I said but he may not win it since Mom said why he was not to inherit.
Maybe saying why she was leaving her estate to her daughter would be helpful to. The lawyer should have had it worded so there was no contesting possible.
I agree that she needs to get a restraining order.
Legally change your name and when you get to court and the court asks why tell them your step-brother is harassing you.
Sell everything, move and don't tell him. Get a P.O. Box in a different city for mail.
And if all else fails a lawyer is worth the money.
Hopefully he will run out of steam, well we can hope.
I am sorry that you lost your mom and have to deal with your step brothers crap.
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