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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Uncooperative heir that owes money to estate

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California -- Arizona probate

    My father passed away in January this year. I have 4 brothers and 1 sister. One of my brothers (the youngest) is making it very difficult for us to probate the estate. He owed our dad over 20-thousand dollars. The money owed to my dad put such a strain on their relationship that my bother did not even see or communicate with my parents from the time it happened in 1998 to 2004.

    In 2004 our mother became ill and was hospitalized for 3 months and my estranged brother would not even visit her. She died in the hospital. He was notified again somehow by one of my siblings about our mother's death. He did show up at the funeral. At the funeral he barely spoke to our dad. After the funeral, none of the phone numbers that he gave us worked anymore. From that time on he disappeared.

    We all knew that he was hiding because in 1998, 2003, and 2004 my dad had tried on several occasions to find him and try to get him to pay the money back. This all came about because my brother's credit card debt was paid off out of my parents proceeds when my parents sold my brother the family home in California. My mom and dad decided to move to Arizona and retire. The credit card accounts are listed and everything in the closing statements -- "payoff of buyers debts." The BUYER being my brother and his wife.

    Now, our dad has passed away. We were able to find him through a friend that sales real estate. He owns property somewhere in California. When the attorney that is trying to probate the case sent out the forms of concurrence of appointment to all of the heirs, he called and would not even give up his phone number or anything to the attorney's receptionist.

    Then, 2-weeks later, my brohter, the estranged brother that has hidden from my dad over the last 10 years because of the debt that he owed him, called the probate attorney and submitted a list of items he expected from the estate (heirlooms - I suppose.) and FAXED his concurrence of appointment to the attorney's office. When they asked him to mail the origional to their office, he ignored that request.

    The Estate:
    There is a home with some equity in my dad's name as sole owner. One old truck with 350,000 miles and an ATV that is a few years old. I know that an inventory needs to be done, but I have not done one because I am waiting on this particular brother to comply with mailing back the form. I need to be appointed representative before I make a trip to Arizona and start an inventory, right?

    Right now, the house payment is being paid by me and my other siblings to keep the home from forclosing. The house payment is not behind as of this date. We are trying to probate the estate and he is not working with the attorney. He is giving excuses and stories and the attorney's office seems to be letting my estranged brother drag us all along. Money is getting tight and me and my siblings want to get the house sold. So we don't have to pay the house payment, taxes and other bills anymore, we are putting the home on the market contingent to the Court's approval.

    How long is our probate attorney expected to give this estranged, uncooperative brother to comply by law? Are there any other options? Should we just let the house go?What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Somnambulist University
    Quote Originally Posted by SO2009 View Post
    How long is our probate attorney expected to give this estranged, uncooperative brother to comply by law?
    First, the debt is no longer owed to your father, but is owed to his estate.... maybe!!

    How old is the debt?? Was there a written agreement to repay??
    If the debt was made in California, the SOL is:
    Written agreements: 4 years, calculated from the date of breach.
    Oral agreements: 2 years.

    If in Arizona, the SOL is:
    Written contracts: 6 years, runs from date creditor could have sued account.
    Oral debts, stated or opens accounts: 3 years.

    Are there any other options? Should we just let the house go?
    There is no 'we'. The only person that can make decisions for your fathers estate is the authorized 'personal representative' (executor).
    Are YOU the authorized executor??
    If not, what does the executor say in all of this??

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    uncooperative heir

    I am trying to become the representative for the estate; however, the estate has not entered into probate yet because my little brother is not sending in the "Concurrence of Appointment" in to the attorney that I have retained to represent me. The attorney is still waiting for him to comply. I think we should move on without him.

    I come from a pretty large family, 4 boys and 2 girls. Of all my family members, the only one who is being difficult is the brother who owed my parents a debt.

    From your reply, I gather that my little brother has gotten away without having to pay back the money and will receive an equal portion of the estate after the estate taxes and so on have been paid. The money was borrowed in 1998. And according to the SOL in California, where the transaction took place, and the SOL in Arizona, where the probate is.

    Thank you for taking the time to reply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Shouldn't an attorney be able to tell you whether your brother will be receiving anything from this estate? It would seem like if he doesn't return the form in a timely fashion that the estate could move on without it and the executor would either hold his share in trust or distribute it without reserving a share for him.

    If there is nothing in writing to confirm that he owes repayment on the credit card debt, you need to find out from the attorney if there is a way or not for the estate to put him on notice in writing that he owes the estate for the debt.

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