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My father died 7 years ago in TX, I live in CA, my siblings divided assets among themselves,will not probated,any recourse 4 me?

Palmdale, CA |

Is there a statute of limitations on recourse when the executor did not probate the will, or distribute it as it was suppose to be in Texas?

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Attorney answers 1


Your father's Will addresses probate property that would be distributable through his estate, which may or may not include the assets divided by your siblings among themselves. You need to review whether those non-probate assets, such as joint tenancy bank accounts, survivorship property, other pay-on-death type assets, or insurance policy proceeds. You should review what you know about titles to those various assets with the Will before you, as to how the Will distributes probate property. Hopefully the original Will was lodged for safekeeping or is otherwise available. Was some form of Texas abbreviated probate procedure used, such as our California Small Estate Affidavit procedure? If so, the transferees may have assumed statutory liability to injured successors-in-interest, to the extent of the transferred assets.

If there were probate-includible assets, which were somehow collected and distributed without going through probate, and you were a beneficiary under the Will, then you may have a cause of action against the distributees to the extent of your interests, to recover the same. But this would be an action in their jurisdiction, likely you would need to probate the Will, in Texas, take discovery, prove the wrongful use of abbreviated procedures which excluded you, and you would have to overcome the doctrine of laches, meaning that you would need to explain why you sat on this for seven years. It is a difficult case, expensive to pursue, unless done on a contingency basis, and whether you could get someone to take it depends upon the amount involved and what type of proof you have, plus the wording of the Will and the procedure used by your siblings. Your case is problematic at this point, but I think it is worth your time and expense to review all of the above and other related information with a local probate lawyer, before you discard the thought. There are attorneys in the Palmdale-Lancaster area who practice probate law and who could assist you with such a review, and it is worth the cost of a consultation for you to review this in detail. No on-line review is going to be helpful to you, the timeline, the document(s), and the facts need to be reviewed, along with titles to transferred assets. Make an appointment with a probate lawyer near you and take all your documents with you to that meeting.

Good luck to you.

I think