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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Default How to Remove Yourself As a Beneficary of an Estate

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: California

    My mom's sister has two kids and are fighting over the estate. My mom was listed as second in line after the one daughter and the other daughter is not given a dime cause she stole thing from her mom etc. Since my mom's sister died, the one daughter is suing, not for contesting of the will/trust, but for elderly financial abuse of both her sister and my mom. My mom wants nothing and does not want to get an attorney or pay for one, yet the one daughter's attorney that is in first position is telling my mom she needs an attorney. Apparently she is trying to get three times what the trust is worth, which is only the house. My mom doesn't want to spend anything on this, as in my opinion, this nasty niece is just going after my mom cause she help the one niece with funeral arrangements of her sister and has money. The one daughter that is listed as deed owner of the house, has no money except what the house she was left is worth; Apparently, the attorney halted any sale of the house, which I don't understand when she is the legal owner of the house. Is there anything my mom can do or something she can file her self to remove herself from this mess? Again, she wants nothing from this or planned on anything from it. If she must get a lawyer, can she collect money from the estate to pay for it etc? Any advise would be appreciated.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,400

    Default Re: How to Remove Oneself As a Beneficary

    She may disclaim her interest in the estate if she wants. Consulting a probate attorney may not be a bad idea; an initial consultation should not cost her much, if anything, and might help her figure out the best way forward. She cannot, however, get the estate to pay for her attorney's fees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    1,648

    Default Re: How to Remove Oneself As a Beneficary

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    My mom's sister has two kids and are fighting over the estate. My mom was listed as second in line after the one daughter
    I assume this means that your aunt left a will or trust that left her entire estate to daughter #1 (whom we're going to call Marsha, and we'll call daughter #2 -- the one who gets nothing -- Jan) and also included a provision that, if Marsha died before your aunt died, the estate would go to your mother. Correct?

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    the one daughter's attorney that is in first position is telling my mom she needs an attorney.
    I assume this is Marsha's attorney. Why does Marsha's attorney think your mother needs an attorney?

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    this nasty niece is just going after my mom
    So...when you wrote earlier that "the one daughter is suing . . . for elder[] financial abuse of both her sister and [your] mother," did you really mean that Jan is suing Marsha and your mother for abusing Jan and Marsha's mother?

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    Is there anything my mom can do or something she can file her self to remove herself from this mess? Again, she wants nothing from this or planned on anything from it.
    If, in fact, Jan has sued your mother, there isn't anything your mother can file to remove herself from the case. She's going to have to defend herself. It's worth pointing out that Jan almost certainly lacks standing to sue for any alleged elder abuse perpetrated against her mother, so getting the suit dismissed shouldn't be terribly difficult, but it's absolutely not a DIY project.

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    If she must get a lawyer, can she collect money from the estate to pay for it etc?
    A suit for elder abuse has nothing to do with the estate administration.

    If your mother owns her home or has renter's insurance, she should check with her insurance carrier to see if the policy will provide payment for her defense. However, that decision might take longer than your mother has to file a responsive pleading, so she should start calling some lawyer's ASAP.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    29

    Default Re: How to Remove Oneself As a Beneficary

    Thanks for the info.
    She has been paying the attorney that wrote the trust, but it is getting out of hand. They went to court and the judge did not care about anything they said and wants them to goto mediation, which they all have to pay 1/3 the cost which is $6000. Marsha has already blown $75,000 dealing with this and now the her attorney has pawned it off on another one because he wont do court. I'm not sure what my mom has but it is dragging on her health and money. What options does she have to counter sue and re-coup any money other than maybe home owners ins. Why the hell would anyone want to be a trustee if they could get pegged financially like this? Why is it not a criminal case if she allegedly harmed her sister?
    Thanks for any help

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: How to Remove Oneself As a Beneficary

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    They went to court and the judge did not care about anything they said
    Went to court for what? In the context of any given lawsuit, there may be any number of court appearances. As far as the judge "not car[ing] about anything they said," I assume this means one of two things: (1) your mother's lawyer made arguments about some issue that wasn't properly before the court (e.g., if the appearance was for a case management conference, arguments about the merits of the case would be inappropriate); or (2) the court ruled against your mother in some way (which obviously is a far cry from "not car[ing] about anything").


    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    What options does she have to counter sue and re-coup any money other than maybe home owners ins.
    I'm not entirely sure what you have in mind, but nothing in your two posts in this thread indicates that your mother has any basis to "counter sue" Jan. Once the lawsuit has concluded, and if it concludes in a manner that is favorable to your mother, she can consider suing Jan for malicious prosecution if she has good evidence that Jan's lawsuit lacked probable cause and was filed for some improper purpose. However, cases interpreting California's anti-SLAPP law have made viable lawsuits for malicious prosecution all but impossible.


    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    Why is it not a criminal case if she allegedly harmed her sister?
    Who says it's not? The same facts can give rise to both criminal prosecution and a civil lawsuit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    29

    Default Re: How to Remove Oneself As a Beneficary

    Then why have there been no charges by a DA for possible criminal charges?
    I'm not sure what the exact court appearance was for, but from what I was told, my mom's attorney said that the judge just wants to clear his cases and is forcing it to arbitration. Also, why would they be expecting my mom to pay 1/3 of the arbitration. Should it not be split 50:50 with the plaintiff?
    My mom is financially secure and does not need any money and never has. She was trying to help her sister. At one time both kids where in the will, years prior to all this. She decided, on her own to take Jan out of it and had the same trust attorney do up an addendum, which I believe Jan did sign acknowledging this. Of course, once she died, Jan comes flocking for money, since she has nothing.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: How to Remove Oneself As a Beneficary

    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    Then why have there been no charges by a DA for possible criminal charges?
    Not really sure what "charges . . . for possible criminal charges" might mean, and I'm obviously not privy to any given DA or ADA's thought process. For that matter, your post doesn't provide any information from which one could conclude that anything about the situation has been reported either to the police or any DA/ADA. If nothing was ever reported, then that would be the obvious reason why charges were never filed.


    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    I'm not sure what the exact court appearance was for, but from what I was told, my mom's attorney said that the judge just wants to clear his cases and is forcing it to arbitration.
    The highlighted words tell you weren't present. In any case, mediation and arbitration (the former being what you mentioned previously) are two very different things, and based on what you have told us, there is no way for the judge to "forc[e] [the case] into arbitration." As far as mediation, the court cannot force anyone to participate in paid mediation.


    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    Also, why would they be expecting my mom to pay 1/3 of the arbitration. Should it not be split 50:50 with the plaintiff?
    According to you, there are three parties in the case.


    Quote Quoting Riker0007
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    My mom is financially secure and does not need any money and never has.
    Did your mother's attorney talk with Jan's attorney about dropping the case against your mother in exchange for your mother relinquishing all rights in Jan's mother's estate or trust?

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