Q: My aunt passed away recently and left no Will. She was never married and had no children.
My aunt had 2 brothers and 1 sister, also all deceased. The siblings all had children. My cousin (the daughter of the sister) met with an attorney in Millbrook, who advised that since her aunt had no will, they could probate the matter using her aunt's father's Will. Her aunt's father (my grandfather) left the property to my father and uncle and gave his daughter $20.00. My father and uncle wanted their sister to have all of the property and signed over Quit Claim Deeds. My cousin is telling me she is entitled to the majority of the property and the rest of the heirs would have to share the smaller portion of the property. I looked up this attorney and it seems he was reprimanded in 2005, suspended in 2015 and 2018. The latter suspension was for mishandling a probate matter. I believe he is in the process of sending out Waivers of Process Consent to Probate. I do not want my cousin nor this attorney to probate the Will. I live in SC and want to avoid traveling. Help.
A: You didn’t say where the probate case is, but what you need to do is hire a probate attorney there to assist you. Any attorney who says that an estate can be administered using someone else’s will is not to be trusted because that simply is not true. Do not delay because there are deadlines involved. And for heaven’s sake do not sign anything without personalized legal advice.
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