If we just recently found out my late father had an inheritance that was stolen by my late uncle, what can we do?

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If we just recently found out my late father had an inheritance that was stolen by my late uncle, what can we do?

My aunt died in approximately 2004, she left an inheritance for my father. My father had no idea and my uncle stole it and claimed he did it because he didn’t want my mother to have any parts of it. My uncle died in 2009, and my father died in 2011. I am just finding out about what has happened. Is there anything I can do?

Asked on July 4, 2018 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) You have no grounds to bring a legal action based on what your *father* should have received: only he could have brought a legal challenge. You have no "standing" or legal right to assert his claim. One person cannot assert another person's, even a family member's, claim for them.
2) It is too late, 7 years after your father died and 14 years after he would allegedly have inherited, to bring a legal action; a legal action challenging an inheritance must be brought before the estate is fully probated and wrapped up.
3) Since your uncle died 11 years ago, it's also too late to take action against him, and his own heirs are not liable for anything he may have done.
Therefore, for a number of reasons, you cannot do anything about this.


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