My sister Anne has passed away. Anne has 2 sisters one of which she supported (Tracy and her husband moved in with Anne). I'm the other sister, Joyce, and don't have a copy of the Will & do NOT know the ATTY that wrote it. Tracy's saying "This is my house & my Will & I'm NOT probating the Will & NOT sharing the Will information with you!". This is her usual behavior. I can't afford an atty, is there something I can do? If Tracy is getting the house doesn't she HAVE to probate the Will? I'm afraid she's tampered with or changed the Will, as well.
Elder Law Attorney
Well, whether probate is necessary depends on how your deceased sister owned her home. If it is owned "jointly" with Tracy or in a Trust then, likely, she does not need to probate the home. However, if it was solely in Anne's name then it is a different story.
You will need to check the records with the Recorder of Deeds in the county which the home was located to determine the current owner. You should be able to do this on your own. Depending on what you find you may need a local probate attorney to assist you. But, first things first.
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I agree with Attorney Smolinski. If the title of the property is in Anne's name alone, then your sister will need to go through probate. If the Will does not say that she gets the property, then you and she would own it jointly, (assuming you do not have surviving parents and Ann had no children. Assuming that Anne is not going to cooperate with you on this, which seems obvious, then you need to retain an attorney who can help you get to the bottom of this. You are not going to be able to protect your rights, otherwise.
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Estate Planning Attorney
My colleagues are correct. As to the house, the first question is how title as held. The next question has to do with Anne's heirs. Who has survived? Did she have a spouse, domestic partner, children, parents, etc? Depending on your answers, the only way you will be able to protect yourself and your rights is by consulting with local counsel. Good luck.
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