PLEASE HELP – NO LAWYERS CONTACTED WILL ASSIST WITH MY PROBATE FRAUD DISCOVERY!!! Please know that I am reasonable and easy to work with, I am just very concerned & frustrated that I cannot get assistance as the clock continues to tick. I have purchased a plane ticket to go to CO from FL to meet with lawyers in person for help and still cannot even get an appointment/reply.
Probate closed WITHOUT ACCOUNTING OR MY KNOWLEDGE and method of delivery to contest was filed falsely with the court. I have since discovered an estate sale that I have a hard copy letter from executor's law firm denying one was held and that all property was given away, dated 1 1/2 months *prior* to the newly discovered estate sale. Do I have a case for ALL fraud discovered with this newest discovery? I was led to believe by the executor's lawyer that it was "too late" after closure. Have discovered extensive evidence of fraud after probate closure. Many items of question in process handling were given “benefit of doubt” with understanding that everything would be provided for review prior to estate closure (which it was not).
Probate was closed in Aug. 2017 though detailed accounting not received until Nov. 2017. Evidence of denied estate sale just discovered a few months ago (online). Lawyer filed with court that option to contest sent first class mail when actually sent certified mail (per my request due to multiple previous mailings from law firm supposedly sent without receiving) and estate closed without signed receipt.
Detailed, solid, evidence of fraud amounting to between $150-$200K (approximate) in hand. My understanding is that civil statute of limitations is well within this discovery based on accounting not being provided until just over a year ago and proof of denied estate sale just uncovered a few months ago.
Please help with advice and direction as I keep hitting dead ends in my search for the same, including attempts to meet with representation in person flying from out of state.
1 Answer from Attorneys
I am sorry about the problems. Most attorneys, like our office, have free phone consultations so I strongly recommend you call some attorneys first before dealing with in-person meetings. That way you can get an idea of how you work together and an idea of their cost structure.
Claims are barred six-months after closing the estate unless you can prove fraud. An attorney would want the file and much more information to determine if you have a good fraud claim or related equitable claim.
On accounting, if this was informal probate, accounting is not required to be provided to you unless a beneficiary requested an accounting. It is odd for it to be done after closing so that makes no sense.
Again, on proof of fraud, an attorney would need more than your allegations to say if you have a basis to reopen the estate and then proceed after the representative, the attorneys, or both.
As to direction, the only possible direction is to hire a probate attorney soon as time is not on your side. Start calling attorneys tomorrow.
Related Questions & Answers
Does a hand-written will need to be filed in a court? Asked 7/02/18, 10:51 am in United States Colorado Probate, Trusts, Wills & Estates