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My two siblings (adults) have stole ALL of my legal inheritance!...

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answersreq

New member
What is the name of your state? CA
My father passed away and in 3/19 and left no will. He lived in an apartment in CA and my two adult siblings came and took all of his possessions from his apartment and also his storage the following week after his death. Also, one of them took his car as well. I was not notified at any time by either of them that this was happening. I did try to contact one of the siblings (my brother), a couple of days after my dad passed but he never called me and told my Mom he would not talk to me. I have checked court records and see that no one has been appointed Administrator to his estate, neither has the probate court granted an order declaring no administration necessary. Neither has anyone even published an obituary in his name.

Fact remains that my siblings have willfully taken and have kept all my rightful inheritance. As a result, I have been left with absolutely nothing of my father’s estate. I’ve been made aware that I am legally entitled to 1/3 of all of my deceased dad’s property as he was unmarried). I was told by a lawyer that I could hire a lawyer and go to probate court but that the legal fees would probably eat up all the estate as it seems that my Dad didn’t have much.

I did contact his apartment management via email asking them: "Was your office aware in advance that they would be removing his property? Did either of them sign an affidavit form with your office declaring that they were the only heirs to my dad’s estate and therefore entitled to take all of his property? If so, how do I go about receiving a copy of that form from your office? Also, I would like to inquire as to the status of any security deposit that may have been due to the estate. If it was received by either or both of my siblings, I would also like a copy of any and all forms showing this transaction as well.” I received no response from them but I know they received it as my sister told my mom that I wrote to them. She is claiming that I deserve nothing and that I should have contacted them if I wanted anything. Being that my sister and I haven’t spoken for about 20 years now, I wasn’t about to contact her and my brother refused to speak to me.

My brother took my Dad's car, put it on his insurance and is driving it around even though they were unable to find the pink slip. His insurance company is giving him 30 days to register it in his name… (and the time is almost up). The thing is, if he registers the car in his name, he has to swear under perjury that he is the sole owner, (which is not true). I sent him a couple of emails warning him that signing that form would be illegal, yet he has completely ignored my messages, so he probably plans on doing it anyway.

Then to top everything off… they arranged a Memorial for my Dad at his former apartment complex almost two months after he passed, and of course, they did not invite me. I have been so wronged by both of my siblings and I know that my Dad would have been very disappointed and saddened by all this. I would like to seek justice for myself, although I am not sure how to go about it. Being I can’t afford the legal cost for a probate lawyer, can I personally sue them in small claims court? Is there anything I can do anything to get the records from my Dad’s former apartment management? Would notifying the DMV about my brother planning to sign under perjury to get my Dad’s car registered in his name, do any good? Since theft is a crime, should I report what they have done to the police department? These are the questions on my mind… I would truly appreciate anyone’s input on any of them, (thank you so very much in advance).
 


LdiJ

Senior Member
I am sorry for your loss, however its true that the only way to do anything about it is to hire and attorney and go to court. Its very likely that the cost of doing that would be much higher than anything you could gain.
 

answersreq

New member
Thank you for your response and sympathy. So, what you are saying is that I cannot sue them in small claims court nor report them to the police for theft? Nor report to the DMV once my brother signs falsely under penalty of perjury that he is the sole owner of my Dad's car? I do not understand why we have laws that are not meant to be enforced... this hardly seems fair at all! Are you absolutely 100% sure that there is nothing at all that I can do!?
 

Dandy Don

Senior Member
The problem is that you have no inventory where you could prove what items were in his apartment that were stolen, so you can't prove their value.

We sympathize with your loss and we understand that you are grieving. Please mourn your loss and then let this matter go--the pain will eventually ease over time. Surely this is not the first time that these people have acted like jerks towards you, so move on with your life and have as little contact with them as possible.
 

Ohiogal

Queen Bee
Were your mother and father married at the time of his death? Was your father married when he died? Are these your full siblings or half siblings?How old are you?
 

ALawyer

Senior Member
When a family is estranged, and members rarely if ever speak to each other, and a death occurs, it tends to bring out the worst in people. In many instances grievances that have been building up for decades come to the surface. And the mechanism for gaining some form of "equity" or "revenge" becomes trying to get a share of the deceased's estate.

Where the deceased failed to leave a valid Will (or place his or her assets in a Trust) then the state's intestate succession law comes into play. In that circumstance, if your father left 3 children and no spouse or grandchildren of a deceased child, each child would be entitled to take one third of his assets, after paying off any debts (such as medical expenses) your father may have had, the costs of settling any lease obligation with his landlord, the costs of moving his belongings out of the apartment plus paying for his funeral expenses and then paying any costs involved in administering his estate.

As you seem to imply that your father's net financial worth was virtually nothing, I shouldn't have to tell you that 1/3rd of that would still be almost nothing, which is why the lawyers you spoke with suggested it would not be financially worthwhile to pursue the matter in court.

Now the fact that your siblings failed to tell you about the death and memorial service deeply troubles me, as it troubles you. Yet trying to interfere with the efforts of a sibling to get your father's car registered in his or her name won't accomplish much, except to add to the grief that they, and you, must be feeling, and it would only reinforce the estrangement that already exists.
 

answersreq

New member
I really appreciate everyone's feedback on this. (I am an adult myself too). And yes, DandyDon, you are right.. they have been beyond jerks to me most of my life.. (and that's putting it very lightly). Truthfully, my goal here is not a monetary reward or even revenge. I just wanted them to realize that what they did to me was so wrong... he was my Dad too and loved me too. I know it would sadden my Dad to know they treated me this way.

It also bothers me that laws only seem to work for those who have enough money to hire a lawyer to fight for them. So, the lesson learned here is that when someone dies who doesn't have much... hurry up folks, cause it's first-come-first-serve! ...and whoever gets the keys to the car, just drive it away and commit perjury by signing a statement that you are the sole owner, (when legally you are not!)... no worries.. you will get away with it, no problem! Apparently, laws don't apply to everyone... and perjury and theft are no big deal. Is there nothing fair in this world... sadly not.
 

marek

Junior Member
Can you provide a little more information on your father's estate? You mentioned that he had a car. What else?
Did he have any of the following?

Bank Accounts
Investment Accounts
Retirement Accounts
Life Insurance
Real Estate

If so, did he specify beneficiaries on any of his accounts or Transfer on Death titles on property? How did he title any of his property? Perhaps as, Joint Owners with Rights of Survivorship or Tenants in Common.

I sense your frustration with the injustice done to you. If you really want to pursue this, invest a little bit of time and research the above information. For what you know, your father might have name you as an only beneficiary on his bank accounts, which means you and you alone get the account and not your siblings. Then, once you have a more accurate assessment of the estate, decide whether you want to spend your time and energy "fighting" with your siblings. You could spend a lot of your time fueling your anger and get nowhere. Probably not worth it.

Depending on your income level, you may qualify for free legal aid in your county. I would suggest you check into that.
 
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