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  1. #1
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    Post Contesting Will Five Years After Death

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: Virginia

    My grandfather died before 2010 and my grandmother died in the summer of 2015. Their youngest child was/is the POA and executor. My dad seems to think that his sister has stolen the family fortune (I don't know that they had that much) and wants to take his sister to court. It's been five years and my dad has done nothing, but this whole thing keeps bugging him. Is it too late to take this to court? If not, what could be some possible outcomes?

    Quite frankly, I don't care but since I have to keep hearing about it, I thought maybe I should look into what's possible. I'd hate for my dad to throw his money down the drain for nothing, especially since his lawyers keep taking advantage of his cognitive impairment (yes, really).

    I can say that at some point the will was changed along with the lawyer and the executor. Originally, my grandparents asked my mom to be executor because they knew she was the most honest person in the family and would stick to what they wanted (I was there when they asked her). At some point, the youngest child had them change everything, including putting the house and other property in her name. I doubt there's any proof of any wrong doing and I don't know that the other siblings would want to band together to fight this out in court.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Contesting Will Five Years After Death

    The statute of limitations to contest a will in Virginia is only one year from the date the will was filed with the probate court. That is to impeach the will. If you had hard evidence that the terms of the will were not followed or that there was fraud committed you should consult with an attorney to see if there is any viable cause of action against your father's sister.

    Quote Quoting littleblu
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    At some point, the youngest child had them change everything, including putting the house and other property in her name.
    Was this before grandmother died? Was the property transferred in fact or in the will?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Contesting Will Five Years After Death

    Is it too late to take this to court?
    Probably. As far as I can tell from an internet search he had a year to file a lawsuit. If fraud was involved the court could extend that based on when the fraud was discovered. I don't think that would apply here since he's had his suspicions for quite some time. And there is still the matter of proving what he suspects.

    The Virginia law on wills is here:

    https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title64.2/

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Contesting Will Five Years After Death

    It does sound however, like she took the stuff before they died, since the OP stated that they put the house and other property in her name when they changed everything. So it wouldn't necessarily be contesting a will. I doubt however that the statute of limitation for elder financial abuse or whatever kind of crime it was wouldn't have already passed as well.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Contesting Will Five Years After Death

    Quote Quoting littleblu
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    My grandfather died before 2010 and my grandmother died in the summer of 2015. Their youngest child was/is the POA and executor.
    Executor of both estates or only one (and, if the latter, which one)? Also, because so many folks get this wrong, was this youngest sibling appointed by the court to serve as executor?


    Quote Quoting littleblu
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    Is it too late to take this to court?
    If he wants to contest either will or sue for something that allegedly happened before your grandmother died, yes. If it's something else, then it depends on exactly what he thinks his sister did and when she supposedly did it.


    Quote Quoting littleblu
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    If not, what could be some possible outcomes?
    He could win or he could lose.

    At the end of the day, if your father wants to pursue something, he should consult with a local attorney, and the longer he waits, the less likely he'll be successful.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Contesting Will Five Years After Death

    Wow! Thanks for all the responses, I didn't expect so many.


    The will was changed before both my grandparents died. My father claims that his mother came to him with concerns about it, but there is no proof.

    The (small) vacant property was transferred to my aunt long before my grandparents died, around the time the will was changed.

    My father was wrong about the house though. I just looked it up online. From what I remember, some relative originally owned the house and left it to my grandparents in her will. According to the online property records, my aunt purchased the house after the relative died. So I don't know how that worked. This happened around the time my grandparents' will was changed and about 5 years before my grandpa died. I'm guessing maybe it was done to protect their money? But we don't know whose money paid for that house. I doubt my aunt actually used her money, her job didn't pay that much.


    I don't even know what was in the will. After they died, we heard nothing. It could be that the money is tied up elsewhere. My grandpa's younger brother has an intellectual disability and is still alive. It could be that the money was left to care for him and anything left will be distributed once he dies, but he should have his own money (his parents were supposedly fairly wealthy). I guess we should get a copy of the will? That would give more clues.


    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    Executor of both estates or only one (and, if the latter, which one)? Also, because so many folks get this wrong, was this youngest sibling appointed by the court to serve as executor?
    I would think executor for both. I don't even know how that works. I just know my mom was asked to be their executor some time prior to 2000. Between then and 2004, when their daughter had them change the will, she had them list her as executor.

    Even though I don't care, I do admit that I find my aunt's actions suspicious. She gets the will changed, uses a different law firm, and becomes the new executor. And I don't know if this matters, but when I was a baby, my grandparents took out a life insurance policy on me. My mother is listed as the contingent owner and beneficiary. When my grandma died, my aunt never gave my mom the policy and that was five years ago. All the mail for that policy is still going to my grandma's house (now lived in by my aunt).

  7. #7
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Contesting Will Five Years After Death

    An executor is a male, an executrix is a female, and a personal representative can be either male or female.

    You can get a copy of the will at the probate court in the county where your grandparents lived if it was registered for probate.

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