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Signature line on lock box whited out

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Doesn't look complicated to me. You settled the estate with your brother. You got the house, he got whatever. Now you want to blame the bank because the opportunity to deal with family members is gone.

The deed apparently wasn't recorded so there's no evidence that it ever existed. Even if there was extrinsic evidence of its existence (noted in your last comment) it would be moot because you already settled with your brother.

I think any action you take against the bank will come to naught but you are free to pursue it if you like.


The problem here is that the deeds stuffed in a safe deposit box of your parents are not any good to you. I assume that you mean the deed was to have made your mother and father owners as joint tenants with a right of survivorship, which then would have meant that the property then became the sole property of your mother upon her death. But that deed is not effective until recorded, and that needed to be done while your father was alive. Once your father died and his estate probated it was too late to do anything with that deed. And as your father apparently died 20 years ago, and the estate presumably probated about that time, it is too late now to do anything with that deed even had you found it in the box.

If your father had a will and your brother was in possession of it, did you bring an action in the probate court to compel him to bring forth the will? If not, why not? Again, as your father died 20 years ago, the failure of your brother to bring forth the will and lodge it with the court is too late to complain about now.

Correct. The statute has 10-year life and I did bring it to probate in late 14 or 15. Will was found at home in his personal belongings. Why it was not filed was very odd.

Neither of those problems are things that the bank access to the safety deposit box would have made any difference. White out alone on the log doesn't make the case that the bank improperly allowed access to the box. Was access given to someone who was not authorized to access it, and can you prove it? And is there something missing from the box that would have actually made a difference in the outcome of that property for you?

From this I'll gather that your family has considerable influence in the local community, that you don't get along with those family members, and that you lack the influence they have. That is a problem that can indeed occur in small towns. Whether that influence really amounts to corruption is another matter, but either way it certainly makes things more difficult for you. But so far I'm not seeing where you have anything to pursue against the bank for the troubles you have had with getting the property interests you believe you were entitled to get.

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