What to do if my mother died and my sister forced the sale of her house but did not give me any money?

My mother made a will leaving her “estate” to my sister and I. My sister moved out of state, found a house she wanted so my mom transferred $37,200 to her and she bought the house. I told my mom that I did not trust my sister so my mom wrote a statement saying the money was an advance on her inheritance & that at the time of her death, I should get the equal amount of $37,200 first, and then the rest of the estate should be evenly split between my sister and I. Sis sold mom’s house, gave me no money, took all paperwork and left the state. Estate includes property in France. Have not heard from her since. Can I sue her?

Asked on July 18, 2012 under Estate Planning, California


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You should absolutely sue your sister but keep in mind you will need to prove this codicil to the will and the will itself. Do you have copies? Who were the witnesses to the will being created or signed by your mother? Those will be the witnesses in your case and you need to begin this matter immediately so as not to lose any more of the estate. In other words, if your sister did this, the chances are high she has spent the money so start now to preserve what you can.

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