its been 3 mo's since my mom died. My brother is Executor.He is not communicating with me. He wont send me a copy of the WIll or any account information. I am a beneficiary on two know accts and he said you cant get anything until i say you can. I am in MO and even if i went to MD he would not talk to me. He has an attorney i just found out. Should i be getting one? I found out that on my mom's one annuity as beneficiary, my half can be released, but brother is saying you are not getting it yet? He shut my mom off for four years and talked very badly about her and he always hated his "little sister". What legal rights do i have? thank you.
Estate Planning Attorney
Yes you do have rights. If you are thinking that you need a lawyer, then you probably need a lawyer. For the most part you will have the right to see the probate filings and question (object) to what happens in the probate proceeding as things move along, but if you smell trouble now, you may want to retain a MD lawyer now to communicate with the executor's lawyer. As to the non-probate assets, you should contact the companies if you know them, and tell them what is going on. It is likely your brother cannot control the distribution of these annuities or other non-probate assets if you are beneficiary. You may owe tax (most likely no MD inheritance tax but I believe you could be subject to MD estate tax) on your share, but you can probably get your money.
This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/
Estate Planning Attorney
Mr. Zelinger is correct. Your first step should be to locate and retain a Maryland attorney. The attorney should be able to advise you of everything going on in MD, as well as communicate with your brother's attorney regarding the probate estate. As for the non-probate assets, you can work with the lawyer on those as well, or you can try to do it yourself. However, you may find that the DIY approach is going to take you a lot more time and effort then you expect, and the attorney should be able to do most (if not all) of it for you at a reasonable cost.
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