My mother died 7 yrs her will I was to get 1/4 proceeds of her house and truck.For 4 years I asked my brother and he did nothing.

House was 50K and truck 12K. I took an advance of 1200 two years
before she died .leaving 14,300. I was able to contact my sister and she
said I had gotten my inheritance,which is not true .i sent her a registered
letter a month ago for which she signed .I sent my brother the same letter
requesting the balance.Heard nothing from either one. Can I get a lawyer
and take it to court or is it too late.

Asked on March 19, 2017 under Estate Planning, Washington


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation as it stands.  What you first need to do is to go donw to the Probate Court where the Will was filed and take a look at the file.  It is a public record.  You should make a copy of everything in there.  If you were to receive one fourth of the estate then there needs to be documentation in there from the Executor that you received it or waived it.  Then go and call your local bar association and see if they have a referral service for consultations with an attorney in the area of Estate litigation.  The Statute of Limitations is generally 3 years it seems in the state of Washington for these matters BUT the statute may have a provison (called a tolling provision) that will extend that time if you just came to find this out.  There are fraud issues, breach of fiduciary duty issues, etc.  Be persistent with the attorney and ask if there are civil actions and criminal actions that can be pursued against your siblings.  In other words if you are stuck with the 3 year limitation in the estate proceeding see if you can figure out another manner to make you whole.  Many statutes are written with words that say "knew or should have known" or some that are written allowing extension of time to bring actions where it became practicable for you to find out.  He seems to have been deceiving you for 4 years. That could mean something under the case law. Good luck.

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