Family Members Hiding Will

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“A parent’s death can cause rifts and cause problems among siblings, and this tremendous loss can deepen rifts and deepen rifts. Often, money arises as an issue. Knowing when and how to overturn a will is important if your sibling contests your parent’s will. Today, our topic is Family Members Hiding Will.”

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Family Members Hiding Will

The bit about a Will?

In a Will, you can specify who will receive the property you own only in your name upon your death and how you intend to distribute it if you have children under 18.

Choosing what you want in your will can save time and money when you go to a solicitor. Consider such items as:

  • Amount of money and property you own, such as shares, real estate, savings, occupational and personal pensions, insurance policies, bank and building society accounts, etc.
  • It is a good idea to list all the people you would like to receive money or possessions from your will. These people are called beneficiaries. It would help if you also considered whether any money should remain a charity gift.
  • If a child under 18 is left alone, who should care for them?
  • The executors are responsible for handling the estate and carrying out your wishes as stated in your will.

 

Knowing the importance of a will

It is a legal document that defines an individual’s wishes regarding the disposition of their assets upon their death. Without a will, an individual’s assets are usually divided according to state inheritance laws that may not match the individual wishes of the deceased.

In the USA, the will is considered to have any meaning until it is admitted into probate following the death of the individual who made it. Wrote it. If a family member is hiding the will, it might be more difficult or even impossible to get it accepted into probate. 

A will not be accepted into probate is the equivalent of having no will in the first place. In such unfortunate circumstances, the final desires of the decedent person are ignored, and the deceased’s property is transferred to their heirs.

 

Why would someone hide a will?

The loss of a beloved person is a difficult moment for families. When they are faced with their loss, families must also consider the legal consequences of the deceased’s wishes. Can someone hide a will? The wishes must be stated as a will to ensure that the deceased’s estate is distributed according to their desires. 

 

Profits from personal profit.

The most frequent reason for hiding a will is the financial gain. If the hidden will contains specific provisions that could be detrimental for the person hiding it, they might try to block it through a prior will that will be more advantageous to them.

 

Motives of emotion.

Personal grudges, familial disputes, or conflicts could also cause one to hide an estate plan.

 

Uncertainties.

Sometimes, a family member may misunderstand the meaning of the will or believe it’s invalid and thus hide it to protect what they think is the deceased’s true intentions.

 

Is it illegal to hide a will? 

Yes, it is generally illegal to hide a will intentionally. They are legally binding documents and play a vital function in distributing estates. 

Denying a will can be a legal excuse for problems like the inability to locate an original Will or the possibility of a lawsuit. However, hiding a will to take advantage of the situation or evade an estate distribution is not considered a legal or legal excuse. It could result in legal penalties.

Within the scope of the ambit of the California Probate Code Section, it is stated that any provision of the will that benefits those who have been obtained through duress, fraud, or unjust influence is invalid. This clearly indicates the need to protect and disclose wills to prevent fraud or undue influence.

There’s a penalty for the destruction of a Will. This is based on the California Probate Code section 6110, which says that the act can be considered an offense, and the remedy may not be only the destruction of the mentioned Will that was tampered with and destroyed but financial concerns and possibly even jail time.

 

If A Family Member Hiding Will, Then Beneficiary Rights?

Suppose a family member hides a family will; the beneficiaries have the following legal rights:

  • Object to the actions of a family member
  • Execute the will following its terms.

If a family member hides a will, the following rights may be available to beneficiaries:

 

The right of beneficiaries to access information.

Beneficiaries have the right to access information regarding the estate, including the will and other information related to asset distribution. The Beneficiaries can litigate to obtain this information.

 

The right to access information contests the will.

A person who discovers that the deceased person’s will has been altered or hidden in a way that distorts the deceased person’s wishes may be entitled to contest the will in court, which could end up challenging the validity of the will or its validity.

 

Heirs have a right to receive their share.

Upon the death of a testator, heirs have a right to receive their share of the estate based on the disposition of estate assets. They can take legal action to establish their rights and ensure they receive their share of the estate.

 

Right to remove the executor.

If the beneficiaries believe the executor is not trustworthy and responsible, they can petition the court to remove them from office.

 

Right to receive notice.

Any legal proceedings involving beneficiaries are required to inform them, including probate proceedings and court actions. Let’s say, for example, a family member hides a will from beneficiaries. They could not participate in these proceedings as a result.

 

Challenge an executor’s actions.

Beneficiaries may challenge an executor’s actions if they believe they are not acting in the estate’s best interests or violating their fiduciary duties. If the executor hiding will or distributes assets in a way that violates the will, it can count as a violation.

 

The executor is responsible for providing the accounting.

The executor is responsible for providing the beneficiaries with an accounting of the estate’s assets and liabilities. This accounting should detail all income and expenses related to the estate and help ensure the estate is in good hands.

 

Right to file a lawsuit.

To safeguard their interests, beneficiaries can file a lawsuit. They may seek damages or other relief from the court.

 

Here are a Few Tips To Know If a Family Member Hiding Will.

A family member hiding a will can be hard to detect, but several signs may indicate this. Here are a few tips we have provided to clients:

 

Tips To Know If a Family Member Is Hiding a Will

 

Lack of communication.

There is no communication between the person in charge of the deceased’s estate and the person in charge of probating the will or the estate.

 

Missing documents.

You cannot locate the deceased’s will, even if you know they had one.

 

Suspicious behavior.

You should be concerned if a family member acts suspiciously or appears to be hiding something.

 

Changes in beneficiaries or distribution of assets.

There appears to have been a sudden change in the deceased’s wishes regarding distributing their assets.

 

Lack of transparency.

The executor has no regular updates regarding the will, and estate information remains confidential.

 

Some Steps to Retrieve If a Family Member Is Hiding a Will

Here are some steps to retrieve a will if you suspect a family member hiding will.

 

Talk to the family member.

If you suspect a family member is hiding the will, try to talk to them. Please explain why you think the will exists and why you are trying to locate it.

 

Look for other copies.

You should send a copy of the will you might get to the deceased’s lawyer or another family member if there was no original. If the deceased stored important documents in a safe deposit box or their file, check any safe deposit boxes or personal files.

 

Consult an attorney.

A lawyer can help you locate the will or ensure that the deceased person’s wishes come true if you cannot locate the will. An attorney can help you locate the will or ensure the deceased person’s wishes are fulfilled if you cannot find it.

 

Consider legal action.

If you suspect a family member is intentionally hiding their will, you may have reason to file a lawsuit. A probate court can order the person to produce their will. Intentionally hiding a will can have serious consequences.

 

Executors have a fiduciary duty.

Executors have a fiduciary duty to their heirs if they fail to file a will within the state’s deadline. In most states, when an individual fails to file a will with the court, they may be sued by someone who suffered financial harm due to the failure. Failure to file a will is not itself a crime.

Anyone who violates California law by “willfully failing to file a will” is liable for damages caused to the injured party. It may be a criminal offence to fail to file a will while intending to conceal the existence of the will to gain financial gain.

Your father left you nothing when he left his entire estate to a favourite charity. If you fail to file your father’s will, you will be held criminally liable for failing to file it. And if he died intestate, you would inherit his entire estate.

A probate attorney can provide legal advice before you decide not to file a will with the probate court if you have agreed to serve as an executor in a will.

 

What Are Their Legal Obligations

In general, executors have certain legal responsibilities:

 

Submitting the will.

To begin probate, the executor must file the will with the appropriate court, notify beneficiaries and creditors, and manage the estate’s assets.

 

She is administering the estate.

A will specifies how to distribute the estate’s assets following the person’s wishes. The executor is responsible for handling these matters.

 

They were acting in good faith.

To properly fulfill the executor’s fiduciary duty. They should act honestly and transparently and avoid any conflicts of interest in their actions.

 

They are protecting the will.

Protecting the will from loss or damage requires taking steps. Such as locking it away in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box.

 

Finding a copy of the will can be useful if someone is hiding the family members will.

There are some reasons for this:

  • There may be cases when a copy of a will qualifies as legal and valid, even if it’s not the original. For instance, if the original was properly executed and signed, the copy may still be legally binding.
  • Although the will copy is not legally enforceable, it provides family members with important information regarding the deceased person’s wishes and intentions. It gives them an understanding of how the deceased person wanted their assets to go. This provides them with the information they need to make decisions.
  • A copy of the will can be valuable evidence in a legal proceeding. It can illustrate that the deceased left a will and can point to the location of the will.
  • Estate Administration. A copy of the deceased’s will may be sufficient for beginning the estate administration process. This will ensure their wishes come true, and those assets go to the deceased’s wishes.

 

Bottom Line

In short, hiding wills by family members in California is an unfortunate phenomenon that complicates the probate process and doesn’t let the deceased person’s wishes be fulfilled. People need to be aware of the legalities regarding wills. It also calls for awareness regarding the penalty for destroying a will and concealing it.

Understanding your rights, the legal consequences, and the appropriate steps you can take to make sure that the decedent’s wishes are respected. If you’re in a similar situation, you need experienced probate attorneys to protect your rights so your inheritance is well-spent. We can help you receive the inheritance you deserve.

 

Hedy Ghavidel

HEDY GHAVIDEL Managing Attorney  Roseville Office  1-866-471-6981  info@attorneysre.com Bio...

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