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Recieving my money from my fathers will?

Lorain, OH |

Both my parents are deceased with my father just passing in april.
I come from a large family.In which several of us were left a certain amount of money.
My uncle is named the executor of the estate.
my parents house is paid for.my dad did have a will
The sale of the house was left to my 2 sisters.
my uncle has not paid anyone of us that were to recieve a certain amount.
my question is does the will have to go thruogh probate in order to recieve the money? or does only the two sisters have to wait?
what rights do we have?
Does my uncle have the right to spend any of the money to do repairs to the house even tho it is stated in the will to b sold as is?
we have not recieved a copy of the will it was only read to us. we have no clue where all my dads money is and what is being done with it .

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

By definition a "will" has to go through probate. This means that the will controls any property that the decedent owned in his name alone at death. The probate process is the process by which the court can oversee that the terms of the will are carried out.

When you say that the house is to go to your two sisters, I am assuming you mean that the will left the home to the 2 sisters specifically and that the will also directed that it be sold so the proceeds from it go directly to them?

The fact that the specific bequests (specific amounts to the family members you mention) have not been paid is probably not that unusual (yet) as the estate hasn't been fully administered.

Regarding protecting your rights and finding out the exact terms of the will: You can request a copy of the will from the Register of Wills/Surrogate where the decedent resided at death (this is where it should have been probated). At some point the executor is supposed to produce an accounting of all actions taken during the administration of the estate. I would advise that you hire an attorney to represent your interests and demand the information you want from the executor.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Posted

Your questions raise more questions, but let's see if I can help a little.

You indicate that your father's Will was "read" to you, but you have no copy. You do not mention a lawyer. Perhaps this is because your uncle has not yet hired a lawyer. Or if he has hired a lawyer, apparently the lawyer hasn't done anything, which is inexcusable for a decedent who died in April.

Your uncle cannot withhold the Will. Ohio Revised Code section 2107.09 says "If the person having the custody or control of the will intentionally conceals or withholds it or neglects or refuses to produce it for probate without reasonable cause, he may be committed to the county jail and kept in close custody until he produces the will. This person also shall be liable to any party aggrieved for the damages sustained by such neglect or refusal." As a son with a right to inherit, you are entitled to a copy of the Will. Your uncle is required by Ohio law to present the Will to the Probate Court, after which you and your sisters can get copies from the Court.

While it is not unusual that you have yet to receive any money, it is unusual that you have not received any probate court filings from the attorney or the court. By now, your uncle (or his attorney) should have filed an Application to Admit Will to Probate, attaching a copy of the Will, and an Application for Appointment as Executor. You and your siblings should have received copies of these documents. You have a right to challenge your uncle's appointment if you think he is not a suitable executor. You will need a lawyer to do this.

Your uncle cannot legally spend ANY of your father's money without court approval. If he is spending the estate's money on the house (or anything else) without court approval, he is breaking the law.

You (and perhaps as many of your siblings as possible) need to go see a Certified Specialist in Probate law. Most such lawyers will give you a half hour or hour consultation without charging you anything. You can call the Ohio State Bar Association in Columbus to get the name of Certified Specialists in or near Lorain; or you are welcome to call my firm and we will try to help you find someone in your area.

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