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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

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. 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. 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 agree and understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the attorney responding, and no attorney-client confidentiality. The law changes frequently, and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information provided in this Answer is general in nature and may not apply to the factual circumstances described in your question. The applicable law and the appropriate answer may be different in the State or States where the relevant facts occurred. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney for representation or consultation. Your question and the attorney’s answer may be used for promotional or educational purposes


  3. 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 relationship. When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel. Law Offices of Eric J. Gold www.EGoldLaw.com Telephone: 818-279-2737 Email: service@egoldlaw.con


  4. 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 specific factual situation. It is not intended to create and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The attorney writing this post is licensed in Texas and Washington only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ.

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