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When is it too late to have an estate audited for mismanagement?: The executor did not probate my mother's will. Her heirs were not allowed to see the signed will or the total value of the estate (valued at over $600,000 before her death excluding the real estate. Real estate deeds (properties in Virginia and Florida) were not transferred to the heirs and remains in the deceased's name. My mother died 7/15/2009, was a resident of Florida and died in Florida. My sister and brother in law were the executors.

Asked about 4 years ago in Probate

Shawn’s answer: Sometimes, families end up fracturing over their parents estate. It sounds as if there has been a failure in communication between you and your siblings over what happened with your mother's estate. You really need to think about speaking with an attorney that can specifically address your mother's estate issues. The following thoughts I would offer as general information in preparation of such a meeting with an attorney.

First, you need to verify with the county records IF there was a probate administration (it is possible that your mother’s real estate was held in trust as well the rest of her property). Either way, there will likely be a probate administration or a notice of trust filed in the county where your mother was domiciled. If not, you could be right and there may never have been a probate administration opened.

Second, you need to look at the deeds of the real estate to see if they were held by your mother in some sort of arrangement that would have passed the legal title to the property automatically upon her death. For instance, your mother may held the property as “joint tenants with rights of survivorship”, a life estate (which would extinguish her interest automatically upon her death) or again, as trustee of her revocable trust.

Third, you need to find out if the original Will is still exists. There is nothing that actually forces a family to go through the process of probate in a timely fashion, but most people do ultimately have to take care of transferring the property eventually. If the original Will was destroyed, your mother’s real estate would be passed through the laws of intestacy. If you are correct that there never was a probate administration, there is no reason why a probate administration could not be started NOW.

Fourth, you probably need to talk to an attorney that can handle the estate administration for you, or make further inquiries regarding the need for estate litigation based upon a determination of the facts in your unique situation.

Answered about 4 years ago.


I created a last will and testament for my mom, i moved her to Miami from St. Louis. she signed the will in Miami.: Is the will valid in Missouri if notarized in Miami

Asked about 4 years ago in Wills

Shawn’s answer: The answer is "it depends".... If you followed all the formalities required by the Florida statutes to create a valid Last Will and Testament, it is most likely a valid Last Will and Testament in Missouri. However, an estate plan is really only meaningful if it describes your life situation and the people who are meaningful to you - and there are no changes in the state or federal laws.

Since your mom is moving to another state and away from the protections of Florida laws.... it would seem that this would be an appropriate time to reflect on her estate plan and contact an attorney in Missouri that can advise and assist your mother.

Answered about 4 years ago.


Is a Notice of Trust required to be published in a newspaper in lee county, FL: death occured in December, 2012

Asked over 4 years ago in Wills

Shawn’s answer: There is no statutory requirement to publish notice of trust. However it is generally a good idea to provide such a notice in case there are creditors so that they can be so reasonable deat with in a timely fashion. And as other attorneys have pointed out, this may also be useful in conjunction with any type of probate administration that will ultimately impact the trust.

Answered over 4 years ago.