My uncle died and left our family money There is about $150,000 missing from what he told us he had. What are my rights?

My cousin has POA. I told his attorney that made the trust that all this money is missing and that I wanted the paperwork to support transactions!! What are my legal rights in this case. I asked for paperwork last April and now it's almost September and nothing! He died last December....how long will this process take??

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You mentioned two documents in your question: a Power of Attorney and a Trust.

The authority (power) in a Power of Attorney ends upon the death of the principal (your uncle). The person your uncle named as his agent in the POA had no authority to engage in transactions after the death of your uncle. A Power of Attorney document should have a clause that lists who has the right to demand that the Agent (attorney-in-fact) provide an accounting of the principal's funds and transactions.

Was the Trust that you mentioned established by your uncle during his lifetime (inter vivos), or was it a Testamentary Trust that was created by his will?

An inter vivos trust should have instructions listing who has the right to demand information from the Trustee. State law also has default rules that can help family members hold a Trustee accountable.

If the Trust came into existence after death, through terms of your Uncle's will, the Probate Court will already have jurisdiction over proceedings. State law and the instructions written into the Testamentary Trust can provide ways to enforce accountability from a Trustee.

An attorney working to protect your interests can advise you on the POA and Trust clauses, and state Probate and Trust laws that apply to the circumstances.



Life, You mentioned that your cousin had POA; that's why John made reference to POA in his answer.

You are making an assumption that what your uncle told you about his financial circumstances was true. That he knew how much was being spent on his care.

My mom is 92 and has vascular dementia. My brother, who has POA, has never divulged to her that her care is costing her $15,000 per month. We routinely tell her that "it's all insurance mom, you and dad had great insurance ". This is why we think that your uncle may not have given you an accurate accounting of his funds if he did so when he was close to death. Or, if he told you, say a year before he died, $150,000 could have gotten spent in a couple of months.

John, who is one this forum's legal experts, has given you a nuanced and specific answer to your question. I think you should follow the advice, or private message him with followups.
Perhaps you should (a) look up the definition of "assumption", and (b) examine your approach to getting advice.

With your attitude, you'll be lucky if anyone even bothers to respond to your posts.
Life - the good folks on this forum are trying to help you.......

Whomever was named executor in the will is in charge and at whatever time frame they deem necessary within state laws. Like for example, TX probate allows 4 years from when Letters presented (within 1st year) and all validated and determination made as to type of probate. You were not named executor nor agent, so not your call.

You want it different, then you hire your own probate attorney to litigate on your behalf as a named heir & I'd say maybe 3K as a initial retainer and then somewhere $250/$500 hr after a certain point in all this.

As someone who has been an executor twice, I have found that family is often clueless on the reality of their supposed "well off" family. Often the elder bluffs or implies there is $ when there's not any $, so to keep family sucking up to them. Or the elder has $ as income when they are alive, so family thinks they are well off, but once they die that income stops and all those debts which they paid minimally when alive now all come due against the estate. Executor has to wait out to see just what claims are out there and negotiate or pay before heirs get a penny.

$ 150 large isn't really very much $ if they had costs for care to pay.
You asked Windy why you'd care if you weren't in the will. My answer was you might care if your FOLKS were in the will. You worded your initial post a bit unclear when you said he left "our family money."
So, you wouldn't want someone with legal expertise to answer your question, just someone who has been in the situation? Just clarifying.
lifeexperiences, good luck in finding an attorney to help you who had the exact same personal experience.
Lifeexperiences, On various threads on the forum, I've seen posters ask for responses only from people who have had exactly the same experience. Why is that? Why did they, like you, write off responses from well meaning folks who might have something useful to add anyway?

windyridge...why would i care about how much money he had if i wasn't in the will?
Because your parents were in the will. ;)

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