Q: Why can't lawyer tell me if my deceased friend left a Will. I am on all of his bank accounts.
I am beneficiary of two money market accounts and on his checking accounts. He had a woman living at his home who had undue influence on him. He was elderly and felt sorry for her. He had lawyer draw up a Transfer Upon Death to turn over his house to this woman upon his death. He died April 23rd. She just took her own life two days ago. The Death Certificate has not been filed with the TOD papers at the court house yet. What happens to his house now that the person named is now dead? I am the one who took care of his remains and ordered the Death Certificates. I just want to know if I need to do anything else or how I find out if there is an executor of his Estate. Thank you
A: Sorry for the loss of your friend. The transfer on death deed must be acceped by the beneficiary by filing an affidavit within 9 months of the date of death. If that is not done, the real property becomes property of the Estate. If that is the case, the estate would have to be probated for good title to the real property to be in the heirs (if there was no will) or the devisees (if there was a will). The fact that you are a friend or that you were a beneficiary on certain accounts does not give you an interest in the estate nor entitled to information on the estate. If there is a probate of the estate, you would be able to review any pleadings filed in the case, which is public information.
A: If your friend had no living relatives, you can file for probate and ask the court to appoint you as the Personal Representative. As the personal representative you can obtain information about the estate. Without a probate and your appointment as the Personal Representative, you are not entitled to information about his estate.
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