What to do if my mother died and now there are family disputes over bills and her personal property?

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What to do if my mother died and now there are family disputes over bills and her personal property?

I don’t know if there is a Will. My brother has some financial control or joint account holder of her bank account,but is not named executor.We all received a third of pension life insurance etc An agreement was made we would divide up her personal property. With the exception that whoever got her vehicle would compensate the others in some way. Can I find out if there is a Will not through my brother? Also, an autopsy was requested the bill is in his name. he is threatining to take me to court to receive a third of bill but I have not received any of my mothers things and he has my personal property. He won’t return and small claims may be needed. What rights do I have?

Asked on November 12, 2012 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  If there were a Will and it were filed in the Probate court then it would be a public record.  But it does not sound as if you know if there is one and so I think it may be best if instead some one is appointed as the Personal Representative of your Mother's estate in order to take charge of what is going on.  If there is a Will your brother may finally pull it out if you file for adminstration as if she dies with out a Will (intestate). Otherwise it sounds as if the family disputes will escalate. Small claims is not going to get involved with distributing her personal things  Good luck.


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