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PROBATE 39: Sibling found in contempt and sentenced to jail time.

The decedent died intestate in 2017, leaving eight children as his descendants. The probate court appointed a personal representative (PR) of the estate.

Intestate

If you die without a will then you died intestate. Without a validly executed will, your estate will pass by the rules of intestate succession at the time of your passing.  The intestate laws in your state will determine how your property is distributed.

Property Bidding

The PR had three siblings bid on the decedent’s automobile after they had expressed an interest in it. PR testified that despite an array of competing bids, none of the family members ever provided any money to him. Consequently, PR sold the vehicle to the buyer. When the buyer attempted to claim possession of the vehicle, he was precluded from doing so by one of the siblings.

Probate Hearing

A hearing was conducted on the matter. After the hearing, the probate court approved of the PR’s sale of the vehicle, noting the family members failure to pay the purchase price in a reasonable time and the discovery of a willing buyer. The probate court ordered the sibling to turn the vehicle over to the PR, but when the sibling refused to do so, he was found in contempt of court and sentenced to time in jail.

Do You Have a Will or Trust?

A carefully drafted and properly executed will can pass your property to your loved ones in the manner of your choosing. A will can ensure that your children and other family members understand your wishes, thus minimizing the risk of disputes and litigation.

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