My mother's estate was settled and closed in 1999. My father, who was the executor of her estate, died in August 2009 and his estate has not yet been put in to probate and my stepmother is not giving us any information about when that will happen. About 3 weeks ago, I received an email from an old neighbor of ours telling us that she found my mother's name on a list of unclaimed funds from an electric company she had an account with 25 years ago. I contacted the electric company and they said they would make the check out to my mom's estate c/o of my name but, I should call my bank to make sure they would accept that. My bank in turn told me to contact an attorney. What are my options? This is in the state of ohio. Will the estate have to be reopened for $1000 check?
You can re-open the estate and have someone else besides the deceased executor appointed to collect the assets from unclaimed funds. That person would then be required to report to the court on the distribution of the assets.
Many local probate attorneys would charge a minimal fee when there is $1,000 at issue. I would suggest contacting an attorney, who could make the process quick and easy for you. Your other alternative would be to contact the information desk at the probate court. They are typically very helpful and may be able to walk you through the process.
I have to disagree with Mr. Frederick's anwer if your mother already had a full adminstration of her estate you probably will not be able to use an release from administration for the estate. You need to consult with a probate attorney regading the costs and fees of reopening the estate to take care of this check.
There is a small estate proceeding that is available to you because of the size of the estate.
You should have no problem obtaining an order from the Probate court assigning the check to you, without having to go through standard probate proceedings.
Your father's situation is entirely different, and it would depend on the title to the assets. If title was held jointly with his wife, or if she was named beneficiary, then it probably would not matter what your father's Will said, in relation to those assets. It is possible you are not getting information on that, because there will be no estate. You may be able to persuade your stepmother to turn over some of your father's (or mother's) personal items to you, even if this is the case.
If there IS a probate estate opened for your father, (because he had assets in his name alone), then you would be considered an interested party in the probate proceeding, and you would get notice and you would likely be entitled to copies of all probate filings.
Best of luck to you!
I had a similar experience in PA with one of my clients. Here they had a procedure available by signing certain forms whereby the sole beneficiary was able to get a check made out in her name alone. Perhaps OH has a similar procedure, so cal them back explain to them the situation and ask if there is another procedure for having them send you the check in your name alone.
Hope this helps. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. Thanks.
Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law in PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He can be reached at 215-735-2336 or at the email address listed below. He has received a 9.7 rating from AVVO and recently was featured as a 5Star Wealth Manager in the Philadelphia Magazine, November 2009 issue on page 123.
Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question.
Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.
Get free answers from experienced attorneys.
27,276 answers this week
3,080 attorneys answering
Get answers from top-rated lawyers.
27,276 answers this week
3,080 attorneys answering