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Uncle has died, need help on the legalities

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What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California/Wisconsin/Illinois

My uncle was declared incompetent by the state earlier this year (Alzheimer's) and the state of Wisconsin appointed my sister as guardian of him as well as his estate. My sister lives in California, so she moved him out there (with Wisconsin's permission) so he would be closer to family. Unfortunately after a fall late last week, my uncle passed away this morning. He had a will, but the executor in the will died a few years ago. We are hoping that my sister will be appointed executor, he was not married, no kids, parents deceased, brothers and sister deceased as well. The closest relatives he had are myself, my sisters and my cousins, all of which agreed to my sister being appointed guardian.

Would my sister being guardian make it a little simpler to appoint her executor? He has a spot next to his parents in a cemetery in Illinois, is there extra filing that needs to be done since he wanted to be buried somewhere other than Wisconsin? Does anything need to be done in California other than what the funeral home will do to transport the body back to Illinois? Right now we are at a standstill legally wise because no courts are open until Tuesday. I have called funeral homes in both states as well as the cemetery to get everything lined up. In order to get everything rolling we would have to start paying out funeral homes in order to get things rolling.
 

FlyingRon

Senior Member
I'm sorry for your loss.

There's no relationship to guardianship to being the executor, but she does seem to be a likely candidate and if she is willing it shouldn't be an issue. It's up to the presumed next of kin to determine what to do with the body. For practical purposes, since probate will need to be opened in California (or the small estate proceure there), it's best if it is someone who resides there (though not required by California law). Did he own any real estate elsewhere at the time of his death?

There's nothing unusual about moving the body. The presumed next of kin can arrange it. The funeral homes know how to do all this. Who ever advances the money should keep receipts so the costs may be recovered from the estate.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
I am also sorry for your loss.

If you are all in agreement (you, your siblings and cousins) that your sister be the executor, then there is absolutely no reason why a probate court would object to it either.
 
Thank you both for your quick responses.

He owns property in both Wisconsin and actually Florida. Due to the estate size, I don't think it can be considered a small case there.

He was only in California for 2 months, we are thinking that Wisconsin would still have legal authority or are we thinking wrong?
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
Thank you both for your quick responses.

He owns property in both Wisconsin and actually Florida. Due to the estate size, I don't think it can be considered a small case there.

He was only in California for 2 months, we are thinking that Wisconsin would still have legal authority or are we thinking wrong?
Possibly. You will certainly have to do probate actions in both Wisconsin and Florida anyway due to the real estate located in those states. Did he have any bank accounts or assets or anything like that in CA? Or was only his person there?
 
Possibly. You will certainly have to do probate actions in both Wisconsin and Florida anyway due to the real estate located in those states. Did he have any bank accounts or assets or anything like that in CA? Or was only his person there?
Just his person there. We thought it would be best for him to be close to some family and there was none left back at his home. He has real estate in Wisconsin and Florida, bank accounts in WI and possibly Illinois, not sure if those had been closed out yet in Illinois.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
Just his person there. We thought it would be best for him to be close to some family and there was none left back at his home. He has real estate in Wisconsin and Florida, bank accounts in WI and possibly Illinois, not sure if those had been closed out yet in Illinois.
Then there is really nothing to probate in CA. All of his assets are elsewhere.
 

Dandy Don

Senior Member
Probate is normally done in the state where the decedent died, so it is okay to have probate done in California. Then an ancillary ("additional") probate might be done in the other states (if necessary), or the California probate may be all that is needed depending on the simplicity or complexity of the assets.

There will be no "guardian" since a guardian can only take care of someone who is living.

If sister does not have the time or the desire to be executor, you all can hire a probate attorney to serve as executor. The executor will have the legal authority to get information about all of the assets, no matter what state they are located in.
 
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