15 years ago a life estate for a home was left to my husband in a will. The will was probated in their home state by the executor the will (a grandson) but the property is here in California. The deed was never changed nor were the taxes placed in my husband’s name. The probate remained open for 10 years in the other state and the Grandson took funds from estate to buy a house and pay his personal bills outside of what he was allowed as executor. The home was never probated in the state of california nor were the personal bank accounts and other property ie cars that were here in Ca.
It sounds like the estate may have been closed for 5 years or more. Most states have a statute of limitations on probate matters that is relatively short. Depending on where this was done and how, an attorney should be able to tell you whether you have any recourse or not. Obviously, you need to have this looked at, sooner rather than later.
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Real Estate Attorney
You should see a real estate attorney with probate experience. If the probate case is closed in the other state, you need to file a quiet title action here in California, in the Superior Court in the county where the property is located (Ventura County, I assume). Your husband is seeking a judgment decreeing that he has a life estate. You will need to get certified copies of the probate court records from the other state court.
Richard A. Rodgers, Esq.
SHANE, DiGIUSEPPE & RODGERS LLP
200 N. Westlake Blvd., Ste 201
Westlake Village, CA 91362
As stated in the AVVO.COM Terms and Conditions of Use, this answer is not intended as legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship or privilige is created by this response.