Ventura, CA asked in Estate Planning for Rhode Island

Q: I live in california and my mother died in rhode island in her will she left me 20,000.00 dollars. My sister became

Executrix and hired an attorney. I contacted the lawyer to find out when i would get my inheritance and she said ( Although our office and the Executrix are still in the process of

identifying all the Estate assets, thus far, it does not appear that there

are any liquid assets (i.e. cash) in the Estate to be distributed. As such,

any legacies (bequests of money) in the Will are likely to lapse as an

impossibility under RI law. Put simply, your mother’s Estate does not have

monetary assets to distribute. ) please, can you tell me what this means? Does it mean i will never get the money my mother left me. Her estate is worth much more than that

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Fowlerville, MI

A: If your mother left a lot of specific bequests (e.g. "My house I give to x. My car I give to y, my investment account I leave to z, and I give $20,000 to my son, and there isn't another $20k anywhere other than in those other specific things already given away, then the gift may 'lapse'. If she named beneficiaries on all her assets and left NOTHING in the probate estate, similarly, the gift to you may lapse.

Without knowing the WHOLE picture it is impossible to say, but yes, it is possible that you may not see this bequest if she gave you something that does not actually exist.

You should consult with a RI attorney who can see ALL the documentation and can provide you specific advice if you still have questions and /or can't make sense of the documents yourself.

--This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship. I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice!

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