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Asker
Posted over 1 year ago.

Yes, it is not clear what the assests are. I only just found out about this "cottage by the ocean" by a slip of the tongue when my two sisters talked about it. There is also a storage unit that my sister claims she does not know what the contents are. I doubt she is telling the truth. My mother was an artistic craftperson all her life and
I would say her work belongs in a gallery. I have already consulted an attorney and wrote my sister for full disclosure. I am waiting for her to repl;y, just to see what she does.

I thought probate is only filed if there is a will. ?????

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Asker
Posted over 1 year ago.

PS I have not retained this attorney yet.

James P. Frederick
James P. Frederick, Probate Attorney - Livonia, MI
Posted over 1 year ago.

Probate is needed if there are any assets titled in the decedent's name alone, whether there is a Will or not.

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Asker
Posted over 1 year ago.

that is interesting to know, thank you. Doesnt it also mean that my sister cannot claim everything?

James P. Frederick
James P. Frederick, Probate Attorney - Livonia, MI
Posted over 1 year ago.

Yes. Your sister would appear to have the same rights as you do. The only thing that would change that is if there were assets she held jointly with your mother, or if she was designated as beneficiary and you were not.

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Asker
Posted over 1 year ago.

thank you, my sister claims there isnt a will, but that she has been named "Executor". She doesn't realize what that means. All she thinks is power power power to CHOOSE who gets what. She sent me a box of junk just to insult me. I read from researching it that she is not supposed to be distributing ANYHING yet until she inventories everything and send each heir a copy. I'm not sure if this is true in Oregon as laws differ from state to state, but if it is maybe I should just sit back and let her hang herself.

Right now I am concernered with getting Justice for my mother, who died under horrible circumstances and I want the person who is responsible to be held accountable.

James P. Frederick
James P. Frederick, Probate Attorney - Livonia, MI
Posted over 1 year ago.

In most states, there can only be an executor is there is a Will. Otherwise, the person in that role is called an administrator. Michigan does not use either of these terms, and I am not sure about Oregon. In any case, the person in that role only gets authority by being appointed by the court.

That person is also the only one legally authorized to pursue wrongful death or other lawsuits on behalf of the estate.

Yes, the person in charge has power. But she would also have responsibilities, to the extent that she can be personally liable if she messes up.

James P. Frederick
James P. Frederick, Probate Attorney - Livonia, MI
Posted over 1 year ago.

That was supposed to read "if" there is a Will.

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Asker
Posted over 1 year ago.

thank you. The only question is that nobody but her knows what is in storage. I asked for some family picture and she claimed she didnt know where they were, then produced a picture of my mother from one of those albums.

I guess I can't do anything about what is in storage if I dont even know where it's at.

I think any other assests will be "held" until probate--such as moneys, investments, life insurance, real estate, etc. correct?

Why would she claim there is no will? Perhaps she just doesn't have a copy and hasnt figured out where to look, or else she is being secretive like always. She said she expects to "get something out of this", meaning payment for her time and labor. That's not the role of executor, according to what I read.

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Asker
Posted over 1 year ago.

I guess she thinks she can do all this without paying for an attorney, but she hasnt even figured out that attorney's fees would come from the estate.

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Asker
Posted over 1 year ago.

PS re: wrongful death: I want to see the person prosecuted. He deliberately and knowingly gave her syphillis many years ago and didnt tell her, then got himself treated. It lay dormant in her body,
then destroyed her organs and brain. He is the surviving spouse.
When I asked him how he felt, his comment was :"I guess she's my EX wife now".

James P. Frederick
James P. Frederick, Probate Attorney - Livonia, MI
Posted over 1 year ago.

Only the executor/administrator can pursue a wrongful death claim. And yes, that person can charge for his or her time. Sounds like a lot of tough things to work through on this one. I am very sorry for all the added "stuff" in addition to the loss of your mother.

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Asker
Posted over 1 year ago.

Money aside, I called the police and finally got through to one of them. It is going to be investigated. I also called the Health Dept. as this is a communicable disease and must be reported by law. They will also investigate to find the source. I asked my sister to have an autopsy done but it's too late now.

Ha. She is also P>O>A. of my mother's surviving spouse, who is in an expensive assisted livinf facility. Imagine the irony if they arrest him. According to her, there's not much left in the "joint" account.

I thank you for giving me your time. Let's see what law enforcement does now.

James P. Frederick
James P. Frederick, Probate Attorney - Livonia, MI
Posted over 1 year ago.

You are very welcome. Regardless of the outcome with the police, I hope that you and your family are able to find peace once this is over with.