What can be done if a relative used undue influence to get control of my grandmother’s estate?

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What can be done if a relative used undue influence to get control of my grandmother’s estate?

My grandmother passed away about a year ago. Before she passed, she was heavily medicated and not in her right statue of mind. During this time, my aunt sold her $800,000 house behind our backs and pocketed the money. She also convinced my incapacitated grandmother to let her become the executor of her Will. Since her passing, no one but my aunt has seen the Will and she refuses to share it with the rest of the family while she clearly uses the estate for new cars and plastic surgery. I was wondering what, if any, legal recourse could be taken to ensure that the Will is being properly carried out?

Asked on December 20, 2016 under Estate Planning, Maryland

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your grandmother.
Undue influence on the part of your aunt would be a ground for contesting the Will. 
You can petition the probate court to have your aunt removed as executor and have another executor appointed. 
As for the assets your aunt has taken from your grandmother's estate, your aunt can be sued for conversion which is theft in a civil case.  The remedy would be a constructive trust which would require your aunt to return the items she has taken and the proceeds to your grandmother's estate.  A constructive trust can be used to trace the proceeds to any acquisitions by your aunt and those items or their value can be returned to the estate.


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