If my father passed away almost 5 years ago and left me money, how do I now get it from my mother?

UPDATED: Sep 16, 2014

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If my father passed away almost 5 years ago and left me money, how do I now get it from my mother?

The day I turned 18 my mother and step-father typed up a contract on their computer that I signed without thinking about it saying that they will hold on to that money for me until I turned 25. I am now 19 and pregnant and in need of that money and my parents refuse to give it to me. I realize that I signed a contract but there was no lawyer present and it was not notarized. I do not know what to do to get that money. My parents tell me that if I try to take it to court they will hire a better and much more expensive lawyer that I can afford and that they will win because of my past experience with money. What should I do to get that money?

Asked on September 16, 2014 under Estate Planning, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Since you signed the contract when you were an adult at age 18, you are bound by the terms of the contract and won't be able to receive the funds until you are 25.  There isn't any requirement that a lawyer has to be present when a contract is signed and there isn't any requirement that a contract has to be notarized.

If you had been under 18 and signed the contract, you might be able to get out of it since you were a minor.

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