We were so lucky - At least I thought we were so lucky!!
Mom had a Will which stated "all personal assets without beneificary/joint-holder shall be divided equally and if there is any despute, the Executor has final decision". It continued to state that "no Court, etc. shall request an inventory,etc."
The three siblings decided it was best to sell Mom's house immediately since none of us lived close - I was the closest at 850 miles one way! We were concerned about possible vandalism. However, besides having a Will and regardless how Mom stated what to do with her personal belongings, the fact that Waivers of Probate were signed - did NOT mean a thing in Court! The eldest sibling was furious after discovering what Mom did with her assets! The eldest was always so busy - "social calendar doesn't permit it" - when told "Mon is terminal and would like to see her Grandchildren".
The biggest problem was Mom's Executor passed away unexpectedly before closing Mom's Estate and a "Court Appointed Administrator" was assigned to "protect the estate" - (I believe that is the purpose of having such a person - but it wasn't what I encountered!).
NOTE: ALL WILLS SHOULD HAVE A "BACK-UP" EXECUTOR, EXECUTRIX!!!!!
The "Administrator" regardless of Mom's Will - wanted an inventory done - 2 years after Mom passed. The eldest had been to Mom's house twice in eight years and supplied such an elaberate, detailed, emblished inventory - down to the last penny in a covered dish on an end table! Unbelievable! And I was forced to respond! It never became an issue in court but it was done "behind the scenes" for the pure pleasure of causing problems - her "speciality"!
This is the same sibling who told Mom after we lost Dad -"why don't you have Salvation Army come pick up your junk, sell your house and you can buy a wing in our house and be the kids new nanny" - I cannot repeat what Mom replied - along with the hurt feelings from hearing such nonsense! The Executor and I helped our Mother move from the old house to her new house - in fact, Mom called a "family meeting which never included the eldest" and after being reassured that we had no problems with her wanting to move, Mom had us to pick her lot while she signed some papers. It wasn't long when Mom drives up, gets out of the car and asks us why we are sitting on the curb. "This is the lot we picked" - Mom laughed more - same lot she picked!
When asked if she wanted anything in the house, the eldest sibling's answer was always "no". Once she returned home, she called the Executor 3 days in a row requesting items then felt she should not be charged for the shipping of said items! The Eldest accused the "Administrator" of "working for the Defendants" and was able to even "bully" the Judge with filing Motions after Motions, etc. It is still the biggest headache - 5+ years later! The house proceeds were divided in thirds but there was no consideration regarding, clearing, cleaning, and getting the house ready for market - regardless of it being mentioned in the listing agreement!
The Eldest sibling kept saying "Family Lore" - she should be the one to decide if and who gets any of Mom's assets! She even challenged Mom's Will in Court and the Administrator charged Mom's estate the fee! I'm still working on getting this mess straightened out and believe me - no one in the legal system cares! Except for my new attorney who specializes in legal malpractice. Even the State Bar Association "sees no need to investigate" when proof provided that there are missing bank accounts (I have the copies of each account), the shipping receipts each have a "tracking #" if the Administrator would have done his "due diligence" and made a phone call! This is just the tip of the iceberg! Totally unbelievable how some people can complete "corrupt the system" to their liking!
If you have someone in your family connected with the legal system, or in my case, a part-time job in filing lawsuites -watch out!!!!!