Does the probate court have any jurisdiction over what happened before death?

Asked over 1 year ago - Orlando, FL

My brother (PR) did some shady things to our mother's house and finances before she died. I've tried, but can't get him charged criminally. 18 months later, we have a hearing about a lien he filed for estate expenses. I don't have counsel. Can I bring up his questionable pre-death deeds as reasons to have him removed as PR now? Does the probate court have jurisdiction over acts before Mom's death? Does he have to answer to the court for his pre-death deeds? Can't he just ignore the questions or plead the 5th?
FYI: There was a hearing (over a year ago) regarding his fitness as personal representative. With no felonies and a valid will naming him PR, the court overruled me. I don't want to pay him or his attorney for their services or costs. I think he should be in jail.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Earl David Maxwell

    Contributor Level 12

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . With something so complicated and so many twists and turns that can happen along the way, this is like trying to perform brain surgery on yourself. You need not just a probate attorney, but a litigation probate attorney.

    If this answer has helped you, please mark it as Best or Helpful Answer. This communication is intended as... more
  2. Robert Jason De Groot

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

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    Answered . Get an attorney for this. You simply cannot do it yourself, it is far too complicated.

    R. Jason de Groot, Esq., 386-337-8239
  3. Judy A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your biggest mistake is not having an attorney. There is not really much more to say.

  4. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20

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    1

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . I agree with my colleagues. I would simply add that probate proceedings are civil proceedings. Criminal matters are held elsewhere. Unless you can prove that your brother embezzled from the estate, it is very unlikely he would ever go to jail. Since you lost the prior proceeding, it is likely that the judge may already be disinclined to consider your complaints, this time around. The only way to change that is to retain an attorney. This will show the judge that you are serious about proceeding and it will give you the best possible chance of prevailing.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******... more
  5. Charles Adam Shultz

    Contributor Level 19

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    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . The facts missing from question is what questionable deeds? Did you brother "steal" property from your mom? That is a bit separate from the removal. You need to take things one step at a time. Its sounds like you are trying to do too much at one time. Step by step. If your brother stole property from your mom, you should still be able to deal with that in the probate, but you need to do so immediately and the right way. Trying to do this yourself will probably wind up costing a lot more money and you chances of success are greatly diminished.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or... more

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