I am the representative on my mothers will. My siblings recently found out that my mother had some unclaimed property through Manulife Financial.
My question is do they have the authority to do anything without my consent and who has the right to say who would be legally entitled to any of this property ?
They have no standing to claim this property, unless they were specifically named as beneficiaries which is doubtful in this case. You as the personal representative are the only one that can claim this asset of the estate. The amount once part of the estate is distributed most likely (can not know definitively unless the actual will is reviewed) under the residuary clause of your mother's will. You should have an estates attorney assisting you in the administration of the estate to avoid missed assets, deadlines and due dates and compliance details.
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Estate Planning Attorney
The above answer is correct. The administrator of the estate has the legal authority and responsibility for collecting the estate's assets. Your siblings do not have legal authority to file a claim to collect the unclaimed property.
You should consider consulting with an experienced estate administration attorney in your jurisdiction for assistance in administering your mother's estate.
Disclaimer: I am not licensed to practice in Michigan, and this general information is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.
I would agree with the other responses IF, AND ONLY IF, the Will has been admitted to probate and probate administration has commenced. If that has happened, then you need to contact the Michigan Department of Treasury and file a claim, on behalf of the estate.
If an estate has NOT been opened, then you are not the personal representative. The Will has no authority, (and neither do you), unless and until it is admitted to probate. If there is no estate, then ANY interested party can contact the Department of Treasury and file a claim. The State has a separate set of procedures for situations when no estate has been opened.
Please note that, if the amount of the asset in question is $5,000 or more, then you will, at the very least, need to get an Order for Assignment, from the probate court. This is a "small estate" procedure and is valid for estates totaling less than $20,000. If the asset is worth more than $20,000, then you will need to have the Will admitted and start a "standard" probate proceeding.
Please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions or concerns.