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I am expecting to receive a considerable inheritance for my mother that recently passed, I think in the range of ($10k-???) It could be a lot but I have no idea my sister is the executor of the will and she has not told me anything but wait. The money is suppose to be split into 3 equal shares. It’s has been over 4 months and still no update. I knew I would have to wait but I assumed I would at least know something by now. I have requested an update on multiple occasions but she is stonewalling me. We don’t get along especially after I found out my sister didn’t honor my moms wish to be bairred in the plot that my mom picked out and purchased, instead having her cremated which allowed my sister to sell the plot. Mom mother had already sold her house and I think the money was in a brokerage account that they were drawing from to pay her bills. She was living in assisted living so we owe some money to Medicaid $60k but the rest is ours to split. I’m not sure if probate is involved or not.

One of the stipulation of my moms will is that we cannot fight over the money or we are out of the will. Does that give my sister carte blache to do as she pleases? I don’t know what I can do or say without it being considered arguing and forfeit my share of the money. This doesn’t seem right but I don’t know. Any advice would be appreciated.

Jurisdiction: My mother lived in United States specifically California for all except the last 3 years of her life she was in Oregon, which is where she passed. My sister is in Oregon but I live out of state if that matters.

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    A will is not absolute. Wills can be (and are) over-rides by probate courts. While a court may look favorably on a "don't fight over the money clause" and may even agree to dispose someone who they think is trying to get a larger share, it seems unlikely that the probate court would decide this amounts to carte blanche for your sister (but IANAL). – sharur Jul 2 '18 at 20:50
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Oregon's probate laws apply since your mom would have be "domiciled" there upon her death. A probate case has to be commenced to distribute the money. A notice should have been sent to you when it was commenced, although it is possible that your sister is deliberately delaying opening up a probate case for strategic reasons to avoid some of the creditor's claims that the probate estate could have to pay until statutes of limitation and non-claims statutes run. It is rare for a probate case to be completed in less than one year because of the complications of final tax returns, etc.

You have a right to demand an inventory of the assets of the estate and an "accounting" of what has happened to the money in the estate since it was opened from the executor, once the estate is opened, without contesting the will, since that is only asking for information on the disposition of assets in accordance with the will without questioning its validity. If she blows you off, you would really be well advised to have an Oregon lawyer assist you.

It is conceivable that the debts of the estate may be larger than you expected and that there is a risk that there will be nothing less. Legal action you bring that she must respond to depletes the estate since she can use estate assets to respond to it.

For what it is worth, $10K is not a "considerable inheritance", it is a tiny one, and for that amount of money it might not even be worth hiring a lawyer. If its likely value were $100K or $1,000K it would definitely be worth hiring a lawyer to monitor the situation and gather information, however. But, if your mom was Medicaid eligible the odds are that the estate is pretty small.

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    +1 in general; however, depending how recently the mother sold her house and its value, the amount of the inheritance could be considerable. The average house price in Oregon, per Zillow, is ~$335k. Assuming the mother took out $100K over three years, and after the medicare pay back, there could easily be $150K to split three ways. Also, per this resource(oregon.gov/oha/hsd/ohp/pages/apply.aspx), medicaid eligibility is based on income, not assets. – sharur Jul 2 '18 at 20:52
  • @sharur Medicaid eligibility for the nursing home program, which is almost surely what the payments would have been for, has both an income an an asset test. – ohwilleke Jul 2 '18 at 21:45
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    She owes the money to Medicaid because the sale of her house made her illegible. The inheritance is 300k-400k – MrQs Jul 5 '18 at 7:26

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