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My brother is executive of both parents will. I received a blank will from lawyer after mom passed. It said 50% of assets. I never got a list of any assets. Only check in the mail just saying this is your portion. No explanation. All valuables removed from house next day after death by him. Dad just passed. There are several properties involved. I was told it will never be sold. I don't know what to do?

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"A lawyer will just get a ⅓ and I'm already on my last leg with him."

What do you mean? What kind of lawyer, what have you asked the lawyer to do, and what has the lawyer attempted?

Are you or are you not in direct contact with your brother?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Jasmina, if you really believe and have documentation of the attorney's malfeasance, contact the state bar association in your state and find out how to file a grievance. It's not unheard of for attorneys managing estates to dip into the client's assets.

I've had little experience with the Grievance Committees, but I did run across an attorney who was the subject of numerous grievances filed against him, and the GC really did investigate, and quickly.
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When I ask anything I get silence. When I continue to press, the subject gets changed. If I continue he just walks away. A lawyer will just get a 1/3 and I'm already on my last leg with him. There were collections of items of value. They were taken immediately after death. Never seen any of them. Not even mom's wedding ring. Nothing. Check is sporadic. No set time. Not even yearly.
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Well, Jasmina, as I said, there is nothing wrong with asking for an explanation of what the estate comprised and how it was dispersed. If you're not able to do that yourself, get legal advice.

A will stating a 50:50 division of assets would be perfectly normal. That way, a person can make her wishes clear without having to itemise all of her assets, which is a time consuming process and the assets may quite legitimately change - be used up, or increase - between the date of the will and the date of the person's demise.

Quite often, attached to the will or mentioned in it is an additional document which does itemise valuables or particular assets that the testator may want to go to named individuals; it can also, for example, specify funeral arrangements, nominate guardians for minor children, or state what should happen to surviving pets. Over here it's called a "letter of wishes" and although it does have legal validity it doesn't have to be kept with the will and I can imagine it might easily go astray.

If the "occasional" checks are becoming regular, I would guess that the properties that were never to be sold have been leased and what you are getting it a proportion of the rental income.

But honestly and truly the easiest solution to your problem is to ask courteous questions. We can sympathise, and we can guess away at what might have happened, but your brother actually knows. Ask him.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Hello and thank you. The will I received basically was a bunch of legal jargon. It listed brother as executor. Each was to receive 50% of assets. There was no assets listed. The will only had her signature. She had another will that was apparently "lost". So this new will replaced it. A lawyer witnessed it. At this point mom had basically checked out. Was a month or less before her death.
I never received a list of what assets were owned. I only got the occasional check written on brothers personal account. No explanation of anything. No explanation or dividing up of personal property such as
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Jasmina, what do you mean by a "blank will"?

Depending on whether the will was professionally drafted, or just created from some online form, you should have been notified what the assets were and what your portion was, at a minimum.

But many people aren't familiar with the level of responsibility which attaches to an executor or executrix, so they handle it as they believe appropriate rather than as an attorney would handle it.

Did you check with the probate court of the county in which your parents lived to get a copy of the filed will? If not, do so; once it's filed, I believe it's a public record.
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Anyone can look up county records to determine the exact property owners using physical address and/or parcel numbers. After Dad's death, the property transferred to Mom - reflected in county records. After Mom died and property transferred to all 3 siblings - reflected in county records. If several properties are involved, maybe you need both a Probate and Real Estate attorney? If you have any property ownership it is on record somewhere. If the properties are/were owned by a family trust, county records also reflect the family trust as the owner. Whomever has current title on the properties will still receive tax documents as property taxes are assessed no matter where the property is located. If you think your brother is not being straight maybe it's best to bypass him and just speak with the right type of attorney for your questions.
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Reply to Houseplant102
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Jasmine, these are thoughts that are bound to cross one's mind. Yes, your brother could have "forgotten" all kinds of things when he was wrapping up your parents' estate. And if you don't know what was there, how can you possibly know what's missing?

The thing is. To do that, for an executor knowingly to conceal assets and not include them in the division of the estate, would be criminal.

Do you think your brother is a criminal?

Unless you have very specific suspicions - for example, if there are accounts, investments, property that you *know* would have been of greater value than twice the money you've received - you're on a bit of a wild goose chase trying to investigate, aren't you?

And if you're not on good terms with your brother, it is equally difficult to ask him nicely to provide you with some kind of itemised account.

With the properties, when you were told they would "never be sold" (never is a big word!), what were you then told about what would happen to the value they represented? If they are now rented out, for example, is there a trust of which you are a beneficiary? Or did the check you received include a proportion of their capital value?

These are all reasonable, fair questions for you to ask. You could go to a lawyer and get advice on how to present them in a way that will get answers.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Nobit was a check with brothers name on it. I have never received any tax forms. I was listed on the will as 50% beneficiary. No assets were listed. Brother could omit anything when making up a list to give to lawyer.
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jeannegibbs May 19, 2018
You need your own lawyer, don't you think?
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Was the check you received drawn on her Estate checking account and signed by your brother? In that case, brother might not explain. Was it from a firm paying a dividend, a rent payment, or something else in which you inherited a portion? If yes, you should have received documents proving where the money came from.
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Hello and thank you. I only received a check in the mail. No explanation. No explanation if more would ever come. A few yrs later another check, small amount. Out of the blue. Not even same time of year. That was it.
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Did you receive any individual tax forms? Any statements for an inherited IRA, Mutual Funds, life insurance, or other? If you were listed as a beneficiary on accounts, a letter or statement of account value and/or tax statement should have been received by each of you from that entity or from the tax preparer. If the estate was the beneficiary, tax forms and statements would have been mailed to the executor.
When my brother, sister, and I benefitted equally in any financial manner after Mom's death, we each received identical individual tax forms to file with our individual returns. Mom's estate also received statements proving funds were withdrawn, distributed, transferred or closed.
If an account or property does not list some or all beneficiaries, it's possible your brother could help himself! Parents don't always list heirs. Even if no heirs were named, a check should have been written payable to her estate! It sounds to me you may need an attorney to verify an actual will exists and that it lists you as a beneficiary.
Property records are public information. The county tax office and online lists all properties or parcels. The owner/s are listed also. If it's still in your parent's name you know your brother has not taken ownership. He should be receiving and paying the tax bill since he is the executor.
If he is not forthcoming about the property, I would definitely seek legal advice.
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Reply to Houseplant102
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I would check with Probate court and see what the disposition of your Dad’s will is. You may an attorney once you find out what you’re entitled to.
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