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Before my grandpa passed away 10 years ago, he had my sign his will stating that I would receive a piece of land he has in TX. My uncle was named the executor because my mom wasn't trusted to take care of anything. Now, my uncle won't give me a copy of the will and says he should get the land because he's been paying the property tax on it all this time and he's the one that took care of my grandma after my grandpa died. So, acting entitled. My mom also conveniently forgot that my grandpa wanted me to have that land and saying she wants it. Any advice on what I can do? I know I signed that will, im nervous that my uncle May have altered it and I'll never see a copy of it.

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That's a great idea. But wouldn't it then go to my mom since she is the only living daughter? My mother doesn't want to help me. ( my uncle was his step son) And since I don't have what I signed, I don't have proof it was supposed to go to me?
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So why can't you present a copy of grandpa's death certificate to the county in Texas and claim it as an abandoned property?
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The landman is the person or company on texas trying to find the rightful owner of my grandpas land so that they can get the rights to start drilling there. Yes, I believe it was probably a deed I signed. My uncle never filed the will and it never went to probate. I am trying to contact a good attorney. Sounds like your family had a similar situation.
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What is a "landman"??
Nobody except the maker of the will and 2 witnesses who are not named in the will are the only ones signing it. It must have been something else, possibly a grant deed or something that was also never recorded . (Check your county hall of records for anything on the property.) The will might not have been filed for probate; my brother-in-law's estate was complicated mess when he passed 13 years ago, and the family has never gone to probate because they are squabbling. He owed my husband money that was only half-paid back, and told his kids to take care of it, but they have not taken care of anything.
When you said the uncle had been paying the taxes, if he paid them from his own cash, he might be looking at "squatters' rights" eventually.
You definitely need a smart lawyer. Many good lawyers will give you a first consult free.
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Contact an attorney.
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Thank you! I'm sorry that you got no help from anyone in your family. That's gotta be rough. I hope everything is ok for you now. I know my time will come one day when I'll need to pick up and move across country to take care of my dad when he gets sick, he's getting older now, but I'm prepared to do that. I understand what this forum is about, I was simply just trying to get some direction, as I saw a section on this site regarding wills, etc. If my grandpa wanted my uncle to have his land, then by all means he should have it, but I know he left it for me. I didn't ask for it, it was his decision. I guess I could just let him have it as a gift for "taking care" of my grandma? But I really don't feel cheated, just trying to get to the bottom of the situation. Anyway, I'll post again and let you all know what happens. Thanks again.
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you dont have to send your uncle a letter you just go to the courthouse and look up the will. This forum is about people who take care of their parents. They need support. I was one of them. I got no support from others. Then when my mother died, oh boy they all came out of the woods asking for money and property and land. they did not take care of my mother, they did not help me. they did not help anyone. I am only stating what this forum is about. I am sorry you feel cheated. Good luck, I hope you get a good lawyer, please let us all know what the outcome is. I will however, support the people who did sacrifice a big chunk of their lives taking care of their family, not the ones who were promised stuff because they were promised stuff.
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Ok, here's what's going on. My mom and uncle are not an active apart of my life, haven't been for years. My grandparents raised me and my grandfathers intentions were to leave his land to me, not my mother or my uncle. My uncle put my grandmother in a nursing home and paid for it using the $$ from the sale of the home my grandfather built. As a side note, my uncle hardly even visited my grandmother, who now has also passed away. I have property tax statements found online, $27 a month is what he's been paying, so I will gladly pay him back for that. To the person who said this story is incomplete, it's really not. Bottom line is... my grandpa didn't intend on my mother or uncle to have his land, there are reasons for that and I don't need to get into why. And no, the will is not out there. I've already called the courthouse. I was told that the will was never filed. Also, I didn't change the story, I just added the fact that the landman just contacted me. Please don't come in a forum and accuse the original poster as lying, just choose not to respond to to post
anyway... thanks again everyone. I am getting an attorney to help me sort it out
And I've also written a certified letter to my uncle asking that he send me a copy of what he has.
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btw: Moecam, please revise diction and sentence structure. I don't understand what you are trying to say.
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this was posted by burritokid: A year after my mom passed away, all my cousins and I were contacted by a land man in TX, which may be the possibility with Pinklady52's uncle. And I doubt he's been paying taxes on that land either. Unless there's major drilling or he's living on the land, he isn't paying taxes. I say that because that's what happened with us. This land that our great grandfather bought back in the 1920's was passed down to the next generation after the previous one passed. There was nothing specifying in our great grandfather's will about the land. But it was called "real property" and his descendants were beneficiaries to that land. Since it's located in an area of TX were no one is living on that piece of property, there are no taxes assessed. And probate doesn't mean much since my dad last signed a lease in 2000. Unless they drill, which is why we all got the call, to sign a 3 year lease, then we will be paying taxes if there's activity on that land. That said, since Pinklady's mom is still alive, the property would go to her and the uncle not Pinklady, if that's how grandpa put it in his will. A land lawyer in TX and a call to the county where grandpa's will resides should resolve this." Ok, I find it odd that the story has now changed to the landman has contacted Pinklady. Enlighten us all and please go find the will and tell us all what is says. ok? its available in the records office or you county. All you have to do is go find it and please let us know what it says. The suspense is getting to me. Really and truely it is. I want to know the truth. Because as scully and molder said, "its out there"
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ORIG. - an item that screws the 'anyone who contests' but lets a person who has P.O.A. to contest will on behalf of someone who has a minor player part while P.O.A. has a major part but does it third handedly - something to think about.....THAT'S WHY LAWYERS ARE RICH & COURTS ARE FULL
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Any probated will is part of estate - it should available at LOCAL courthouse as a public document - IF NOT WHY NOT- I do geneology & I find all sorts of info in those public documents - if they haven't become 'public' then the whole thing is weird after 10 years [if it smells like a skunk, looks like a skunk......then it is a skunk]

Don't sign anything without a lawyer's 'ok' - just because he paid taxes [as P.O.A. that was part of his duties but did he pay or DID THE ESTATE PAY] he can't claim land unless he asked you to pay those taxes repeatedly - otherwise uncle can claim those taxes against the land if you wish to sell but otherwise pay him back from all receipted $$$$ so land should be yours

If he didn't send a registered lawyer's letter to tell you about taxes on your 'about to be' land then he hasn't a leg to stand on & maybe even if he did .... it wasn't really your land yet - let him put a lein on it & pay him off if/when you sell it

ISN'T FAMILY GREAT! - good luck & hugs M
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You can look up the property online and see who owns it. If you signed something with your grandfather, maybe it was duel ownership of the land. However, when he died, they would have contacted you by letter. If they could not find you, your name would be on the property. chances are when your grandfather died, his property went your grandmother. Then her Will dictates what goes where. there is always two sides to every story. The reason I find your story not complete is because, why didn't your mom get property? If you were raised by your grandparents, then why are you NOT the sole heir. The uncle, well he came in and took care of your grandmother. Does he not deserve fair recompense for his work, his help, his time? If you find a lawyer to even touch this, it will cost atleast 100 per hour on fees. The time lapse is enourmous. You will alienate your uncle and perhaps your mother. Is it worth it? I would instead go talk to your uncle and tell him what your grandfather said. If there is alot of land, chances are he will give you a piece of land. But fighting .... in court.... over years, this will be a bad thing. Do what you want. My mothers will had a clause in it. She put it there. Anyone who contested her will would lose everything. She did this to stop the bickering.
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Thank you, Pam. That's great advice. I will get on that this week. Thanks again:)
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Stephanie, if the assessor's office still shows only grandpa's name, that tells me probate was never done. In that case, you write a letter to the CA attorney general office, as an interested party, to complain that no one ever probated the estate.
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Thank you everyone. My grandpa died in 2007. The will was not filed. I don't remember exactly what I signed, being it was over 10 years ago. All I know is that I signed something and trusted my family to fulfill my grandpas wishes. So, the landman is contacting me to find out "what my grandpas interests were" in terms of his land. The land is still under his name and my uncle refuses to get back to the landman. So, the landman contacted me. He found my contact info on Facebook. I'm calling an attorney. Thanks again for all the ones that responded with nice comments and didn't feel the need to give their opinion on whether or not I deserve the land and what MY grandpas wishes are ;)
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Thanks
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Vasuna, in CA beneficiaries of a Trust get copies. Beneficiaries of a Will are served notice to appear in probate court, where they can see the Will and consider if they want to appeal. Property that is JTWRS does NOT go into probate at all, it just goes to the joint owner. CA has a two year waiting period where claims can be presented against the estate. Ten years after a death is too late to contest a distribution.
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In CA its the law that u get s copy
Within 6 months. You can sue if you don't.
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Taxes paid on vacant land can vary from State to State, regarding how the land is zoned, and if the land is used for agriculture use.

Our office has a client who pays $16,000+ a year in property taxes for 5 acres of land. It has commercial use, but if he had cattle on the land, the taxes would have been much less.
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Depending on how the will was set up, and the state laws, In many cases the property automatic goes to the living spouse. It becomes their property free and clear with the exception of loans and taxes. We still pay the taxes on our assets. The burden does not fall on my daughter who is the second to receive any assets. BUT if I die my wife is the sole owner and responsible for the property. If she chooses to change the will then she may do so. My daughter is the POA but only if we both pass away.
When my father died my mother sold their personal property and purchased another home. We had no say so in her decisions. She used a good estate planner to change the will to suit her wishes. We had no right to protest her decisions because she set up a trust. We had no right to see the trust or the will. My sister had the POA and I was second. When my mother passed away it was my sister who had to manage her assets. She could not change to will or trust.
If you grandmother became sole owner of the property she is responsible for paying the taxes and loans against property. If she is unable to manage those assets then a POA is set up and that person manages her assets. If she was of sound mind and body she could have transferred the property to the uncle to avoid paying taxes and loans, that is if he was willing to accept responsibility do so.
Good estate planning is important to avoid these fights in courts. There are too many laws and changes in the law one must know.
That is why it is very important to have an estate attorney draw up the wills and trust. I have been through this twice. Laws change and handwritten wills are not worth more than the paper they are written on. I would wait on the probate. But it sounds like you are out of luck.
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Find a good attorney experienced in estates and elder law. An attorney may seem expensive at first, but may give you piece of mind. At a consultation you don't need to pay an attorney anything and that attorney will tell you if there is anything you can do.
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Pinklady52, It is entirely possible there was no probate. If all assets were jointly owned with grandma, as JTWRS (joint tenants with rights of survival), they would have all passed on to her, no probate.
I don't know what you signed, but the only signatures on a will would have been grandpa and two witnesses. Very perplexing.
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And I actually own my own business and am pretty well off myself. I don't need the $$ from the land, this is about principle and doing the right thing, not money. I find it so surprising to come on a forum and be personally attacked by people I don't even know. WOW. Thank you to the ones that were nice in their response.
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Thank you to all that answered. To the one that said I sound like a spoiled niece: my grandparents raised me. My grandfather and I were extremely close and I did sign something that said his land was supposed to go to me. I didn't make a copy of what I signed at the time because being young and nieve, I thought I could trust my uncle to do the right thing since he was in charge of selling my grandpas house. My uncle has not kept in contact with me since I was a teenager. So, no I am not a spoiled neice. I'm just trying to do what my grandfather wanted and that is to keep the land in my family, meaning my uncle isn't even blood. I'm taking the advise and looking into the courts to see if anything was filed. Thank you to all who responded.
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Freqflyer, not necessarily. A year after my mom passed away, all my cousins and I were contacted by a land man in TX, which may be the possibility with Pinklady52's uncle. And I doubt he's been paying taxes on that land either. Unless there's major drilling or he's living on the land, he isn't paying taxes. I say that because that's what happened with us. This land that our great grandfather bought back in the 1920's was passed down to the next generation after the previous one passed. There was nothing specifying in our great grandfather's will about the land. But it was called "real property" and his descendants were beneficiaries to that land. Since it's located in an area of TX were no one is living on that piece of property, there are no taxes assessed. And probate doesn't mean much since my dad last signed a lease in 2000. Unless they drill, which is why we all got the call, to sign a 3 year lease, then we will be paying taxes if there's activity on that land. That said, since Pinklady's mom is still alive, the property would go to her and the uncle not Pinklady, if that's how grandpa put it in his will. A land lawyer in TX and a call to the county where grandpa's will resides should resolve this.
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originalhirevs, perhaps Pinklady52 signed something ten years ago and she now remembers it as the will. A faulty memory is not the same as lying, and I don't know how you judge her to be sneaky from what she has said. You are entitled to your opinion that she shouldn't expect to inherit but I wish you would refrain from personal attacks. That is not how these forums operate.
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I came across this, thus if Grandfather died 10 years ago, there is nothing she can do now.

" A contest to a will must be filed within two years from the date the will is filed into probate. Probate is when the will has been posted and read into record and has survived any objections; at that point it is read into the record (probated) by a judge and is considered legally filed. Thus, after that date, any contests must be raised within the next two years." [source: freeadvice, state planning, will, contested time limit].
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Opps, sorry...make that "your uncle...not brother".
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10 years of propery taxes on vacant land isn't going to be much...maybe a few thousand? If the land is worth much more then what the taxes were, you should certainly find out if it was left to you. Your brother can't claim a 20,000.00 piece of property is his because once a year he paid a few hundred in taxes...how is that fair?

I agree with others. Check local records where he died. The will should be there..the property had to have been handled in the probate proceedings. Good Luck.
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