When my mom died my uncle put me out of the family(age 14) and now 20 yrs later he will not give me any copy of will / court inf

Asked over 1 year ago - Seattle, WA

when I was 14 my mom died went to live with mothers brother, my uncle with in that year he gave over to the state I got nothing of hers ope of funds I am only child all of whatever she had should of been mine. he refuses to even tell where she buried can I take any legal actions against him and the state becayuse from what I know my moms ssi benefits where supposed to pay foster care but I was a run away I did not at all live in any foster home from age 15-18 wheres that money

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Thuong-Tri Nguyen

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A problem for you is that you likely have ran out of time to start court actions against anyone. The time limits for you to sue likely would have started when you turned 18. Given that 15-16 years have gone by since you turned 18, all the statutes of limitations likely have expired.

    On another hand, there are various exceptions to statutes of limitations.

    Perhaps you can review the specific facts with your attorney to see whether you have any viable options left.

    If money or other properties were supposed to be given to you and no one was able to find you, the money or properties may have been delivered to the Unclaimed Property office. In WA, that office is at http://ucp.dor.wa.gov/ . You should check against your name and your mother's name to see if you have any potential claim. There is no expiration date on claiming your property from the Unclaimed Property office.

    If these events happened in another state, there is a national group for the various unclaimed property offices in the US. There is a link to the national group from the website for WA. Click of "external links".

    If a probate proceeding was done for your mother, most of the documents filed with the court in that case should be public record. If the probate was done in WA, you may be able to find the case by doing a name search against your mother's name at http://dw.courts.wa.gov/index.cfm?fa=home.home .

    If you have other relatives, they may be able to give you more information regarding your mother.

  2. Bruce Clement

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should re-post this question on the estate planning or probate forum.

    This AVVO Answer is provided for general educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you... more
  3. Chandra Melissa Lewnau

    Contributor Level 10

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with the previous poster that the amount of time that has passed is your most serious obstacle. For claims that arose when you were a child, the statute of limitations normally begins to run when you turn 18 and will bar claims for most causes of action within 10 years. While those statutes may also be tolled (delayed) by other factors, it sounds like you were aware that you had a cause of action, which makes it less likely based on what you have said. From my experience in other cases, I can tell you that as a practical matter after so many years even if you could still sue your uncle, it would be extremely difficult to find any information to support your claims or to collect a judgment. The IRS will likely not have records, banks will not have records. Any money your uncle got is likely long gone. Your best bet for information is to look at the probate records and the land records in the county where your mom lived. Assuming a probate was opened and the usual inventory and account were filed, that will give you a start to know what your mother had, and what dispositions she made. If she owned real property, that could still be traced and you might have a slight chance at recovery, especially if it was never sold. I would advise you to contact an attorney to review your case and see if you have any options, and you should definitely look at the unclaimed property website. Also, if you don't know where your mother is buried, you may be able to get that information by contacting the local funeral home or cemeteries in the area where your mother lived. I'm sorry you have gone through this and I'm sorry to be so discouraging.

    This answer provides general legal information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any... more
  4. Eric Jerome Gold

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I have added probate to your posting so that you may get a response from a Washington probate attorney. That being said, if you know where you lived at the time your mother died, you can start by contacting that probate court to see if there was a probate file. If there was, for the cost of copying the documents, you should e able to get a copy of the probate file. That would be a good starting point for you.

    ** LEGAL DISCLAIMER ** My response above is not legal advice and it does not establish an attoreny-client... more

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