Can I sue my step mom for spending money my dad left me in his will?

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Can I sue my step mom for spending money my dad left me in his will?

My dad died 2 years ago. He left me and
my three brothers in his will. When he
died, his wife decided to contest it.
And they told us tht they would not
read the will till 2015. It is now
2016, and I have not heard anything on
the will and lots a rumors going around
about she spent all the money on her
blood kids and grands kids. Taking
vacations and and buying new things.
And the money we were left is gone. Can
I sue her? What steps I need to take?

Asked on June 5, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You need to first file a probate.  You don't have to wait for a "reading of the will."  In Texas, the vehicle for determining "who gets what" is called filing for a probate.  You don't have to be the executor to file.  You are a potential heir so that gives you the right to file.
If, during the probate, it is discovered that your stepmom depleted the estate improperly, then you can (1) have her removed as the executor if she was designated as the executor in the will and/or (2) develop an ancillary suit for breach of fiduciary duty or theft.
To get the process started, contact a probate attorney as soon as possible.


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