The firm handling my sisters estate has all original documents of all her assests. Some of them were in my sisters name only; some were left to me as beneficiary or had my name on them as joint owner. Now that I signed the final accounting and release document , I requested all of my sisters files(bank statements, investment account statements...etc) They are also holding the originals of documents of assests that I held with my sister. I was told three times throughout this entire process ( 3 yrs) that I could have all documents when I signed the release. NOW, Iwas told by the executor, that I can have only the non-probate items.( The assests that I recoved myself because I ws named beneficiary; and assests that were joint accts held by my sister and I. )
I want all the documents because I inherited (according to the will) half of the assests that had only my sister name on them. My brother got the other half. The assests are now held in the estate awaiting distribution. I have not handed in the signed release and discharge document yet. I want all the documents. Am I entitled to all of them? Executor told me that the law firm is keeping the probate items for future reference. 1.)Is that typically the case? Do law firms keep the documents of the deceased (just in case)? 2.) Can I have all the documents?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Don't give anyone the receipt and release until you are 100% satisfied you have been given all the documents you want. You hold the cards here; the law firm is going to be very reluctant to go forward with distributing assets until they have a receipt and release from everyone.