Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California


My dad died 10 months ago in California.My half sister and brother called and I attend the funeral. They were from his 1st marriage and I was born illegitamate.This is known by his family and friends through my Dad.He was divorced from their mom.My sister told me that the 3 of us were in the will that he left.We found $20,000 cash in his home and after we paid for the funeral, we split the remaining. I went back to La. and she told me that she would be contacting me to take care of the remaining business-house,property and insurance policies. After I did not hear from her after 3-4 weeks, I continued to call her with no success.She will not return my calls.I sent for a copy of the will from the courthouse, but they replied that no will on file for him. My name is on the obituary and I have a deposit slip from the cash we split for $3000.My brother called last week to tell me that he would send me a copy of the will because for some reason he too is discruntled with his sister.What recourse do I have to claim my inheritance?What can I do from get this resolved?If I get a copy of the will, what would be the next step?Under Ca. law how can I legally claim my third of my father's estate, home and insurance policies? Thanks!

Asked on 4/12/09, 10:43 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys


Re: will

I am sorry to hear of your loss. The probate must be opened in the county where you father died or held property. If you open the case, then you may request the will from your siblings with the power of the court if you need to. Contact me directly.

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Answered on 4/13/09, 12:41 pm
Scott Linden Scott H. Linden, Esq.

Re: will

Don't want to toot the lawyer horn, but you are going to need to retain counsel here in CA that specializes in Probate.

Because there was only a will, and obviously real property, the value is over $100K, therefore a Probate was required.

If you retian independent counsel, you can start making demands for accounting, etc. THere should have been a Probate Referee assigned to the case as well; this person can provide some guidance for you too.

If you would like me to review the latest version of the will you received, I'd be happy to do so.

If you would like to discuss this matter in a more private forum, please feel free to contact me directly at the email provided by LawGuru or through our firmís website located at

Please Note that this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. The answer is solely based on the information provided.

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Answered on 4/13/09, 4:11 pm
George Shers Law Offices of Georges H. Shers

Re: will

Assume your father recognized you as being an issue form his body, your legal right are the same as your siblings. Write your sister a note asking why she wil not return your calls. Point out that if there is no Will, the assets are split in three equal portions so you expect to get your one=third. Demand tha she give you a copy of the Will, whether or not you get it from your brother. If she refuses then you can use that against her if she tries to become the administrator of the estate.

The proceeds from an insurance policy to to the people named as beneficiares in the policy and it is entirely separate from the Will. Have your brother look up at the County Recorders Office how the title to the hosue was held; if it was in joint tenancy with anyone then the joint tenant gets the property. See if your brother is going to hire an attorney; if you trust him and your interests are the same, both of you might want to share the costs of speaking to an attorney [you can be on a speaker phone].

good luck.

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Answered on 4/13/09, 12:25 am

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