What are my rights if my late husband’s family has not probated his mother’s Will?

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What are my rights if my late husband’s family has not probated his mother’s Will?

I was married to the same man for 45 years. He passed 4 months after his mother. Her executor (her eldest daughter) refuses to probate her Will and would never give the other siblings their copy of the death certificate. I held the only power of attorney over my husband. I was recently told that his siblings recently had some kind of paper drawn up in my husband’s name, however I was not asked could they do so. Isn’t this fraud? And what should I do? They had no right to sign anything for him that I know of. Could I file charges?

Asked on December 8, 2014 under Estate Planning, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the issues that have transpired.  You need to get legal help  A Power of Attorney has no effect now.  It dies for the person whom it is enacted when that person passes.  Your Husband survived his mother and so long as state law does not require a certain survival time longer than 4 months to inherit, he inherits under the Will (if he was a beneficiary) or under the intestacy statute in the state (when some one dies with out a Will).  You need to discuss being appointed as fiduciary under your Mother's estate AND having an attorney demand that the Will be probated or that an estate proceeding be started to distribute assets.  You and your Family should receive your husband's portion should the Will so state.  Good luck.


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