CAN AN ASSET BE LEFT TO A DEPENDENT WITH NO WILL OR LAWYER BEING INVOLVED?

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CAN AN ASSET BE LEFT TO A DEPENDENT WITH NO WILL OR LAWYER BEING INVOLVED?

MY DAUGHTER’S UNCLE IS TELLING THEM THAT THEIR DECEASED FATHER LEFT THEM A VEHICLE BUT THEY NEED TO PAY THE UNCLE $8000 AT WHICH POINT HE WILL RELEASE THE UNSEEN VEHICLE TO THEM. SOUNDS LIKE A SCAM TO US. ANY SUGGESTIONS? THEY HAVE NOT BEEN CONTACTED BY AN ATTYORNEY NOR HAS A WILL BEEN FILED IN PROBATE COURT.

Asked on January 27, 2011 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The red flag went up and you were right there to see it.  First, assets are always left to someone when a party dies.  If the party dies with a Will then the Testator (the person who made the Will) can leave specific things to specific people in specific amounts (these are general statements and be aware that there are some rules involved here as well).  If the testator dies without a Will the the"intestacy" laws in the state will govern how the assets are distributed.  What there has to be in either case is a Personal Representative appointed by the court to make the distributions.  Lawyers are not always necessary if the size of the estate is small.  Also, beneficiaries DO NOT PAY for assets left to them.  Do NOT give him a dime. But someone really should take the time to check on what is going on.  Good luck.


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