Q: Caretaker had affidavit. Does that give her rights to my moms bank accounts and safe deposit box and jewels etc?
Im barely thinking about this stuff now. I wonder why the bank stuff never was mentioned among other things? The probate case only included houses but she owned other things of value too that were not mentioned and I don't know why I wasn't thinking about it then until now that few years have past. I still can't look at pictures I guess I'm still struggling with the reality that she's really gone. Im trying to remember more things little by little I woder if its too late to salvage anything or look for justice. I really feel that the caretaker woman helped herself to those bank accounts and so many other things like mom's antique jewelry etc. The caretaker had an affidavit of some sort but just because she had an affidavit does that grant her the right to help herself to everything inside the house and bank accounts? What is an affidavit exactly?
You may be referring to what attorneys often call a Small Estate Affidavit ("SEA"). If an SEA is made fraudulently, there can be consequences as set out in Cal. Prob. Code § 13110. But you need to hurry to a local attorney because you may have already "blown" the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations is three years. "An action to impose liability under this section is forever barred three years after the affidavit or declaration is presented under this chapter to the holder of the decedent's property, or three years after the discovery of the fraud, whichever is later. The three-year period specified in this subdivision is not tolled for any reason." Prob. Code, § 13110.
An SEA is a method of getting a decedent's property without the oversight of a probate. It applies when "decedent's real and personal property in this state does not exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars...." Prob. Code, § 13100.
You have an obstacle. If your suspicions are correct, you might have trouble finding the caretaker or getting assets back if you were to win your case in court. The caretaker may be judgment proof in that, that statute might give you "three times the fair market value of the property" (Prob. Code, § 13110(b)), but the caretaker might not have anything to get back. So once again, hurry to a local attorney.
Disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.