What to do if I’m a beneficiary of an estate and the executor has refused to pay me my inheritance?

I’m a beneficiary of an estate and the executor gave me blank checks that he signed for me to use for estate expenses. Later, the executor became very negligent and has refused to pay my portion of the estate. I now need to hire a lawyer to file motions/petitions to remove him, compel distribution, etc. What happens if I use those checks to pay myself my portion of the estate or to pay a lawyer to file documents to remove him or compel distribution, etc? I live halfway across the country from the probate court. The probate attorney also refuses to cooperate or communicate.

Asked on September 29, 2013 under Estate Planning, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I would not use those checks to pay yourself the inheritance that you believe you are entitled to. Rather, I suggest that you consult with a Wills and trust attorney about filing a petition to remove the executor of the estate and get the probate process back on track. One in your locality can be found on attorneypages.com.

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