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  1. #1

    Default Fraudulent Exclusion of a Will from Probate

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of:Oregon
    In 1999 my grandmother passed away. She had suffered a stroke several months earlier. My Uncle was administrator and declared the estate to be without a will. However, my Father died recently and I found a letter to him from my Uncle admitting that Grandmother had dictated a will to an attorney that she had retained while in the rest home where she died. and that I was one of the grandchildren who was to have received according to my grandmothers wishes. The letter is in his own handwriting and describes his misdeed. What can I do?

  2. #2

    Default Preventing Probate of a Fraudulent Will

    In the state of Oregon My Grandmother passed away in the summer of 1999 in Multnomah County Oregon. She had suffered a stroke several months earlier and was eventually moved into a rest home. I was told that while she was at the rest home an attorney had been retained at her request to draw up a will and that a will had been dictated but had not been signed. I was told that she had not finished making a will because the attorney had insisted that she get a “hearing aid” before he could be sure that she understood everything he wanted to say to her. After her death, her son (my Uncle), petitioned to the probate court, and was granted, letters of administration, It was an intestate estate valued at around 150,000, with most of the estate being the property which had been Grandmothers home in Portland ,Oregon.
    She was a widow and had five children, four of whom were still living, and one daughter who had passed away and was survived by an only child who would claim his deceased Mothers share, making a total of five issues. I recall my Uncle telling us that Grandma had wanted to give only a small amount to one of the Brothers, (part of the supposed complexity that the attorney wished to address.) My Uncle said that he had to “be careful” in his administration of the estate because the judge was overseeing his actions. My Uncle stated that he “was concerned” because “if he were to do anything wrong”, the Brother that Grandmother had wanted to receive almost nothing had already warned that he “would sue him” and already “had a lawyer”.
    My Uncle stated that “Grandma owed over $60,000 in medical bills” and that there “would likely be very little left to distribute after paying all of her bills’. My Uncle stated that there was very little cash in Grandmothers bank account. He stated that he was “paying for the funeral and other costs from his own pocket” and that “until the house was sold”, and the courts closed the case, he would not be reimbursed and “no one would get their inheritance”.
    He further stated that “Grandma was only a few days from finishing her will”. (The attorney took a week or two before he was able to schedule the taking of her will. A hearing test was scheduled for the following week, but Grandma died that weekend).
    My Uncle said that he “felt bad” but that “in Oregon, if you die without a valid will, the estate is just divided up evenly among the children” and “that is the law”. He said, “nothing could be done, because Grandma never signed her will”. (As far as I know, my Uncle and this attorney were both present when Grandmother dictated the will, and I am sure that there must have been someone from the nursing facility staff, but I can find no record of any attorney or of his having been paid. Also, in the checks that my uncle wrote for the estate, there are missing numbers. That is to say, there are missing consecutive numbers, of the checks presented in the final accounting for the probate court). It seems that no mention was made of any will to probate, or of any attorney, or payment for services, other than the attorney that my Uncle hired after her death. Evidently it was concealed from the court record, as was the document of her will that he claims was never signed.)
    The house sale went well and early in 2000, the sale closed. The court approved the final distribution and closed the case soon after that. All of the five intestate successors received their share. Just under $25,000 each.
    My Father died last winter. While cleaning last week I came across an envelope containing a letter from my Uncle that described what Grandmas wished truly were. I was
    shocked to find that I was to have been given a percentage of her estate,
    In this letter my Uncle asked to be forgiven for his misdeed, and then went on to describe a real estate venture that he speculated on. This was all in his own handwriting and signed.
    It was disgusting, to find that he had prevented the will from ever being admitted to probate, and that he had concealed its contents. As I continued to look through Dad’s papers, I found that there was a life insurance policy that my uncle made claim to on behalf of the estate. It is not in the probate courts records, possibly because the payment was made to him almost a year after the case was closed, so I don’t know if he acted properly in distributing it without notifying the court. I also found that there was a bank account in Grandmas name that held a Certificate of Deposit that my Uncle was aware of. It was cashed and split five ways by my Uncle while the probate case was still open, yet no record of the transaction was presented in the accounting of the estate to probate. This I am sure was supposed to be reported to the court.
    There are many other questionable actions on the part of my Uncle, but I have described what I believe are the main issues,
    WHAT CAN BE DONE? Thank you for your time.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Prevention of Will in Oregon

    Are you assuming that a will was prepared and executed? Because if nothing happened beyond this "dictation", there's still no will.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Prevention of Will in Oregon

    No sir, I am only able conclude by Uncles admission and the factual circumstances of concealment on his part, that his misactions prevented execution of the will and that the delay, and concealment from the court was by design and therefore intentional, beyond any suspicion or assumption. Having not revealed to the court any hint of a will, it is yet to be investigated if one was signed, or merely dictated, but a compulsive process of discovery if that is available, should provide enough factual information for an objective assesment and determination, should it not? Thank you

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