Q: I am the Administrator of an Estate with 2 beneficiaries, one of which lived with descendent at her house.
Both beneficiaries agreed in probate court to sell the property and I received the full authority to sell and split property proceeds. The one beneficiary living at the property was the mother's caregiver and helped herself to the mother's bank account writing checks and using credit card without her mom's authorization because she had Dementia. The probate court found the one beneficiary had a illegal POA and assigned the mom with attorney which found that she wrote over $40k in echecks at a local casino with mother's identification without mother's authorization because she had Dementia prior to her spending spree. The same beneficiary doesn't believe that she is responsible for the household expenses (water, sewer, trash) which have been accumulating after mother's death and thinks they should be paid from the estate funds not her pocket for partially from other beneficiary not living at residence. How do I get this beneficiary to realize I can't pay for her expenses?
A: Dear Sacramento:
Based on the facts submitted, this is best handled by with the assistance of an attorney. A Probate Court has broad equitable powers to make adjustments. However, the claims must be presented in the correct format and using the proper procedures. A discuss of which is beyond the scope of this forum.
You should discuss this issue with the attorney assisting you in the Probate matter. If you do not have an attorney, it is recommended you speak with one do to the complexities of these issues. If you do not know where to find an attorney, you can try your local County Bar Association. Most California County Bar Associations offer a lawyer referral service which, for a small or no fee, provide a consultation with a qualified attorney.
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