Red Responds: What Happened to Her Inheritance?

Terri in San Dimas writes:

My grandmother raised me and everyone knew I was her “baby.” She has two children of her own, but, she didn’t care much for either one. She set up a will when I was there and she had five copies made and told me she didn’t want them to have anything and it was to all go to me including stock. She broke her hip and went into a home and my uncle took over all of her finances. She died Christmas morning 2006 and I’m being told there was no will or she outlived her will. Wrong! The previous will gave me the house as well, but he sold that and never said a word to me. I have not heard a word from anyone since she died, not even my mother or father. Surely, I have something. They won’t even send me my grandfather’s picture that she wanted me to have. What happened to my inheritence? Am I going to get anything she wanted me have?

Dear Terri,


Regardless of what you know to be true, estate issues are governed by law. Even though your grandmother did write a will, and made copies of it, I don’t see that she formally filed it with the courts. This is a significant problem, unless you can come up with a verified copy of her will.


Unfortunately, because your uncle has been handling all of her affairs, he is seen as the executor of her estate. That gives him a great deal of power to do as he sees fit, and he is not required to notify or give you anything. Unless you can do some serious detective work on your own, and turn up with the name of your grandmother’s former attorney, you don’t have much of a case or a leg to stand on.


There doesn’t seem like you have a whole lot of recourse at this point. Too much time has passed since your grandmother’s death, and much of her property and assets have been irretrievably dispersed, sold, or plain old thrown out. Even though she told you that she didn’t want her children to have anything and that everything should go to you – you can’t prove it.


Eventually you will receive some of her personal items, including your grandfather’s picture. But I don’t see you getting anything of monetary value, only sentimental. If there are things of your grandmother’s that you really wish to have, it would be wise, even though challenging, to speak with your uncle. He will give you things that have no value to him, but may mean something to you.


It is such a shame that after a life has been lived, so many people are more concerned with the assets that remain rather than the person who has past. Hold your head high and do what you need to do, but remember you still have one thing from your grandmother that many in your family never had – her love.

Brightest Blessings!
Ext. 9226

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