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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


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

Answered 6 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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