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Is a probate researcher supposed to locate next of kin when a person is declared incompetent?

Santa Clara, CA |

I've just found out (through my own research) that my paternal aunt appears to have been declared incompetent in 2000, in Santa Clara County. I am her next of kin and was never notified. I am concerned about what happened to her assets. I have stayed out of contact because she was/is seriously mentally, and had a history of violence. I live out of state currently, but there are plenty of things on file in SC County that would lead to me--divorce records, her criminal record, etc. Also, my mother and I had been found/notified on other occasions relating to her. I don't know what debt she had, but her assets were considerable--plus she was in possession of mementos/photos, her house (inherited from my grandmother) was sold by her estate in 2002. Was I supposed to be notified/involved?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Yes you (if an heir) should have been notified. Do you know if her estate was probated? If so, pull the probate file and see what happened to it. An attorney can help you with this.


You didn't state if she had passed away. If she is under a probate court conservatorship, then yes you should have been notified. If she had passed, then you would need to be notified if there was a probate court proceeding needing notification.


So long as you are an heir, you should have been notified. You should consult with local counsel for further guidance based on an in-depth review of the facts.

** 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 Telephone: 818-279-2737 Email: service@egoldlaw.con

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