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Do contingent beneficiaries of the Residuary get notice of the probate? Esp. when the Will has numerous Ambigous clauses in it?

San Francisco, CA |

If they did not recieve notice & Bank of America was Executor are they the ones at fault for the no notice? Also does this make a case for Extrinsic fraud & toll the statutes? TY~ :)

Attorney Answers 3


This appears to be a follow-up to your earlier question. I would say that contingent beneficiaries do not need to receive notice, but a California attorney might disagree. I guess that the question I would have is whether notice is going to make any difference? Even if you were supposed to be provided notice and it was not given, does that change anything? If the answer is no, then technically, there could have been a impropriety. But it is not likely to do you any good. I do not think there is any fraud, based on the little information you have provided.

James Frederick

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Any individual named in a Will is entitled to notice of the probate and the Court reviews the will for this. The San Francisco Probate Court (I assume that is where the decedent's estate is being administered) is very good about this. The Petition for Probate form in California is very specific as to who is entitled to notice.

You seem to be very concerned about the way this porbate is being administered. I strongly advise you to take the documents to an attorney who can review the exact language with an understanding of all the facts (you seem to keep adding additional facts). It is the only way that you can guarantee that the advice that you receive will be based on the facts at hand. If the probate has already started, you need to do so immediately. Please make sure that you see an attorney who practices in the area of probate litigation since that seems to be the basis of all of your questions.


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You could save yourself a lot of time by simply taking your matter to a probate attorney for review. Probate, like many areas of law, is not intuitive. What you think should be the rule frequently is not -- the rules are drafted to protect the intent of the testator, not the interests of contingent beneficiaries.

Notice of probate proceedings is posted and published. Personal representatives and trustees only must provide notice to known heirs and beneficiaries. Unknown contingent beneficiaries receive no notice because they are unknown. The published and posted notice is usually sufficient to cut-off any rights of such unknown persons.

If there are pending probate proceedings, you need to take action now. If the estate has been closed and the personal representative or trustee has been discharged – you probably will be unable to state any claim against anyone. Good luck.

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