Help me figure out what's going on
March 21, 2012 12:07 AM Subscribe
Needing advice from an estate lawyer or someone with thorough knowledge of how trusts work.
posted by northxnorthwest to law & government (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My father passed away in December 2009 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Because both my brother and I are under 30, he left his fiance as executer.
I just learned that the final amount of inheritance is around $160,000.00. This figure seems completely baffling to me and I would like someone to help me figure out what is going on.
Because I live outside of the country (and for whatever reason), it has been very difficult trying to get information from the lawyers and his fiance about how the money was distributed, despite numerous emails to her.
The amount in his checking account before he died was $125,000.00 alone. He also left the life insurance to his fiance with the idea that she would distribute it to both my brother and I. She is extremely well off and I see no reason why she would want to keep it for herself. He left the 401-k to my uncle with the same idea. This should have also been put into the trust. He had two properties, which were sold, and the amount put into the trust. Here are my questions:
1. When I received a notice that probate had ended, it stated that the amount in lawyer fees was $9,000.00 and the amount in accounting fees was $1,200.00. Isn't this extremely high?
2. Are there taxes or fees I am not aware of that would reduce the amount substantially?
3. What are my legal rights in this case?
The reason I am freaking out is because I am currently living on $16,000.00 a year and was just accepted into grad school. I have no savings, no assets and my father was extremely frugal in his life which allowed him to accrue a decently sized retirement (he was just 2 years away). It makes me extremely angry that his hard work just melted into nothing.
Thanks in advance.