My father recently passed away. The last time I saw a copy of the will, his possessions were split 50/50 between my estranged brother (the executor of the will) & the bank accounts were split 60/40 w/ an immediate payout to my brother & annual installments for me. I cannot get in contact with my brother to either get a copy of the will (which was left in my father's house, where my brother has resided all his life) or find out when he will be filing the will in probate court. Prior to his death, my father was helping me out financially & now I am in an dire financial situation. There are considerable assets (both in property & bank accounts) and my brother, having lived completely rent and bill free with my father for 40+ years is in no rush to collect his inheritance as he still lives in my father's house with no mortgage and very minimal bills. I know my brother will drag his feet if it means I won't see a penny any time soon. My brother & I are the sole heirs. I think I know the lawyer my dad used to draft the will but am not 100% certain. What steps can I take, or what options do I have, to compel my brother to file the will or get a copy of it myself?
First, I want to say I am very sorry for your loss. Your brief synopsis raises a number of questions and possibilities which are really too numerous and involved to explore in forum such as this. I would strongly urge you to consult with an experienced estate administration attorney, preferably one with probate litigation experience.
NOTE: Mr. Fischer is an attorney licensed to practice in Pennsylvania. This answer was prepared for educational purposes only. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. Frequently the question does not include significant and important facts and time lines that if known could significantly change the response. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question.
Very sorry for your loss.
Your only option is to hire an estate/probate attorney to be your advocate.
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.
My condolences on the loss of your father.
I agree with the answers of my colleagues and strongly suggest that you contact a probate attorney practicing in the state where your father resided.
All the best to you.
Please note that I am changing the practice area to probate
This answer made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only to give you general information and a general understanding, not to provide specific legal advice. You understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the attorney. The site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.
Sounds like a tough situation. You need to do exactly what you say: Compel your brother to probate the will. You could also simply apply for letters of administration and split the estate 50/50 with you as administrator and if there is a will your brother would likely come forward especially if he gets more in the will than by law (with no will). You have options to get this moving, you have to take action however and you don't want to go it alone.
This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature.
I am sorry for your loss and trust that this will all work out to everyone's satisfaction. You do have specific rights and remedies under the law, which includes the methods of probate of your father's Will. Since this appears to be in Delaware County, you could inquire at the Register of Wills Office regarding your remedies in this situation. Although the clerks cannot provide you with "legal" advice, they can advise you of the rules and methods to petition the Court regarding your father's Estate. I agree with my colleagues, you should retain a lawyer familiar with the practice and procedure appropriate County and ask for assistance in this very important matter.
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