Does the named executor of a Will and estate have to file official paperwork before doing anything with the assets?

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Does the named executor of a Will and estate have to file official paperwork before doing anything with the assets?

One of my siblings was listed executor of our grandmother’s estate. Grandma passed away a few months ago and this sister has not filed any paperwork including the Will, nor will she share it with anyone else, supposedly due to directions from the Will. Expensive items from Grandmas home are now in this sister’s home, without any discussion or notice to the rest of us. She has been paying neighborhood association fees, utility bills, and such for grandma’s properties, as well as altering payment plans for grandmas several rental properties. Is any of this even legal? We are afraid for her.

Asked on December 30, 2011 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

Michael Duffy / Duffy Law, LLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you have to go to the local authority for wills (depending on the state that could be register of wills, orphan's court, surrogate court, etc.), submit the will and get authority to be named executor and to probate. The will becomes public at that time for anyone to inspect. You should also contact an estate attorney immediately. There are a lot of details involved here and a mistake can be costly.


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