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Did my mom steal my inheritance?

San Diego, CA |

My father died unexpectedly in a drunk driving accident (the other driver was drunk). He left the entirety of his estate to me in his will, a minor at the time (age 16). My mother and he were divorced at the time of his death, and had been for about 10 years. My mother got control of the money because I was a minor. In those 2 years, she bought a large home in an expensive area of San Diego using that money (~720,000). She was previously living in an apartment. I am now 28 years old. I guess I assumed she would give me the house one day, but there are no signs of that happening. She avoids the issue. My questions are: is it too late to do something? If so, what should I do?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Contact counsel immediately and explain the situation.

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Asker

Posted

I know I should. I am just scared of ruining the relationship with the one family member I have left. On the paperwork I do have, it seems like she got 3 "family allowances"...if the court let her purchase a home for my care, does that mean I get nothing?

Michael Douglas Shafer

Michael Douglas Shafer

Posted

No. Contact and discuss with counsel.

Posted

I agree wholeheartedly with the previous answer. You need to contact an attorney. There are a lost of issues that need to be looked into and lots of paperwork that needs to be examined. My only other suggestion is that you should think about what you want and how you'd like to go about it. If getting your assets means ending this relationship, is that something you are willing to do?

Thomas A. Schaeffer, Esq. Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216, San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.jslaw.org This posting is provided for "informational purposes" only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice." Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principals discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different States.

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Posted

I just don't know what I want. What I really want is for my mom to not have stolen from me. Thank you for your response.

Thomas Anthony Schaeffer

Thomas Anthony Schaeffer

Posted

Just speaking as an advocate for your property rights, do not sit on this situation very long. I don't know what has transpired outside of what you've put here but there may be time limitations...

Asker

Posted

Yeah I have thought about that as well.

Posted

You should do what you want. If you want an assurance that your mother will turn over your rightful inheritance at your discretion then you should have an attorney arrange that for you. It all depends on what you want.

-Michael R. Juarez Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216 San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.jslaw.org Mike@jslaw.org This posting is provided for “information purposes” only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice." Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principles discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different jurisdictions.

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Posted

Of course I want the money, I just don't want to lose the relationship. She has no other source of income. I just need to make a decision.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

You may be able to discuss your mother's estate planning. That may take care of this, if you are her only heir. You would not get the money NOW, but you would eventually get it.

Posted

I agree with my colleagues. There may be nothing practically you can do to deal with this from a legal standpoint. It does not sound like you want to SUE your mother. If you are HER only heir, it is likely that at some point, you will wind up with the assets, anyway. You MAY be able to suggest to her that she take care of HER estate planning, in order to make this as smooth and seamless a process as possible. She really needs to do her estate planning, anyway. If you know that you are eventually going to wind up with everything in the end, maybe that is an answer that you can live with.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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Asker

Posted

Yes I am her only heir. And I truly from the bottom of my heart do not want to sue her. I think I might have to be satisfied with knowing that I'll get the money eventually. It's kind of a legal and emotional problem tied together.

Asker

Posted

Discussing her estate might be an option....that way I don't have to accuse her of stealing from me or being a "bad mom."

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

Most cases are like that. It is often very difficult to sort out the two aspects. I wish you the best. You are dealing with this in a very loving and forgiving way, under the circumstances. That speaks very well to your character.

Asker

Posted

Thank you. Maybe the estate planning thing will work.

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