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  1. #1
    paula89 is offline Junior Member
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    Brothers wants siblings to sign release

    What is the name of your state? AZ

    My sister passed away in November of last year. She left behind a business, but other than that I do not know what property there was, including bank accounts. My brother lived near her and declared to the rest of the siblings that he was in business with our sister (saying it was a verbal agreement) and would be taking over the business. We had no way to confirm this information and felt the need to avoid animosity by letting him try to run the business.

    Two weeks ago he presented each of us with a legal document that we are to sign and get notarized releasing all claims to the business and any other property that was in our sister's name. It turns out he wants to leave the state for a new job and sell this business, but cannot do so without all of us signing this legal document.

    The estate was never put through probate. My brother said he doesn't want to probate it now because it would take too long and he wants to move next month. He also claims the business will barely "break even" and he may still need to declare bankruptcy. His also cited the reason for not going through probate was to avoid having us siblings incur the liabilities from creditors of the business. He's putting a lot of pressure on us.

    Something smells fishy and I don't know what to do. I don't want to lose the relationship I have with my brother, yet I don't want to sign documents blindly. What should I do?

    Thanks,
    Paula
    Last edited by paula89; 08-25-2007 at 06:36 PM.
  2. #2
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Something smells fishy and I don't know what to do. I don't want to lose the relationship I have with my brother, yet I don't want to sign documents blindly. What should I do?
    what relationship? If you think he may be taking advantage of you, then I cannot see why you would want to continue that relationship. The facts you have given are very telling. The sister estate should have (and still should be) probated and the assets distributed as required. Who knows, she mayhave owed many people that have not and are not getting paid because you rbrothers actions.

    Just because he wants things to happen in a hurry should not prevent you from doing what is correct.

    the fact that he LIED to you about all of you incurring the liabilities from creditors ans the business should tell you all that you need to know.
  3. #3
    paula89 is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you for your quick reply.

    I felt guilty for not trusting the situation and my brother. It really hurt to lose my sister so my judgment, I'm sure, was clouded. His persistent pushing to get us to sign has been causing a lot of stress.

    If I could bother you a little more on the subject, can you tell me who can start a probate? Does it have to be filed in the same state where my sister lived (she lived in AZ, but I'm in OR)? Is it expensive?

    Thank you very much for your advice.
  4. #4
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by paula89 View Post
    Thank you for your quick reply.

    I felt guilty for not trusting the situation and my brother. It really hurt to lose my sister so my judgment, I'm sure, was clouded. His persistent pushing to get us to sign has been causing a lot of stress.

    If I could bother you a little more on the subject, can you tell me who can start a probate? Does it have to be filed in the same state where my sister lived (she lived in AZ, but I'm in OR)? Is it expensive?

    Thank you very much for your advice.
    probate is filed in the county of residence of the deceased. I am not familiar with probate in Az.

    Here is a linkl to a Q and A for Az probate:

    [url]http://www.keytlaw.com/azprobate/probatefaq.htm[/url]

    and to the controlling statutes:

    [url]http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ArizonaRevisedStatutes.asp?Title=14[/url]

    cost would vary greatly depending on what is involved. You might try contacting a Az probate attorney and inquiring as to a "typical" (although there is never anything that is typical) cost range.

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