I hadn't seen my mother or sister in 20 years, quit talking to them on the phone 5 years ago, never gave them my number and told them to stay out of my life. Then they were unlawfully harassing me with unwanted, unwelcome, obnoxious greeting cards, so I wrote them more letters and told them to cut it out. Then, my mother died and her attorney sent me her "death notice" and I felt harassed by that. After that, she sent me a copy of my mother's evil and sadistic will in which she disinherited me and made a huge, histrionic, dramatic "display" out of leaving everything to other relatives. I was SHOCKED and I had to go to the E.R. and get a sedative. What kind of CRAP was THAT?
Estate Planning Attorney
The motive of the attorney may have been to shorten the time you could make a claim on the estate.
The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.
Estate Planning Attorney
It really sounds like you had a terrible relationship with your family members. I don't think the attorney was trying to rub salt in your wounds, but, rather, to comply with the statutes for probate. The attorney was probably trying to follow the Washington Statute , RCW 11.28.237
which says that:
(1) Within twenty days after appointment, the personal representative of the estate of a decedent shall cause written notice of his or her appointment and the pendency of said probate proceedings, to be served personally or by mail to each heir, legatee and devisee of the estate and each beneficiary or transferee of a nonprobate asset of the decedent whose names and addresses are known to him or her, and proof of such mailing or service shall be made by affidavit and filed in the cause. If a trust is a legatee or devisee of the estate or a beneficiary or transferee of a nonprobate asset of the decedent, then notice to the trustee is sufficient.
(2) If the personal representative does not otherwise give notice to creditors under chapter 11.40 RCW within thirty days after appointment, the personal representative shall cause written notice of his or her appointment and the pendency of the probate proceedings to be mailed to the state of Washington department of social and health services' office of financial recovery, and proof of the mailing shall be made by affidavit and filed in the cause.
You may still be considered to be an heir, even if you were excluded from the will, and in order to give an excluded beneficiary the opportunity to review the will and have the opportunity to contest the will, they need to have notice. I'm guessing rather than an act of mean-ness, the attorney was being diligent in notifying all interested parties and you shouldn't take offense.
It is very likely that this was REQUIRED by state law. In every state that I know of, when there is a probate estate, the personal representative (executor) MUST send notice of the estate and a copy of the Will to ALL interested parties. You would be an interested party as an heir of your mother. This is done to give the interested parties notice of the proceedings and of the right to contest the Will. If that is not done in a relatively short period of time, then the estate can be administered without further communications to you. I am absolutely certain this was not intended to harass or attack you in any way and was only done to comply with State law.
I am sorry that it had the effect on you that it did and that your family relationships were so much less than what they should have been.
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