How can family members request viewing a Will I the executor has been withholding it from them for 5 months?

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How can family members request viewing a Will I the executor has been withholding it from them for 5 months?

My uncle passed 5 months ago and left a Will. Initially it was made only to the nieces and 2 nephews. Then, 2 years prior, when my uncle went into the hospital and was expected to pass, he shared with the immediate family what he expected with the house and car. We were told by a second cousin who once shared taking care of him that the Will had been changed 3 times. The family members were sent papers to sign indicating that once all signatures were returned the Will would be read. The last correspondence the family members received was 4 months ago. We have no idea what is going on and why it is taking so long to have the Will read. What can the family do to move forward in getting it read?

Asked on May 9, 2019 under Estate Planning, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A beneficiary (or someone who reasonably believes they are a beneficiary of the will) can bring a legal action against the executor which is traditionally called an action "for an accounting" to, as the term implies, make the executor "account for" his/her conduct and management of the estate. If the executor is not fulfilling his duties (to follow the will; to be loyal to the beneficiaries' interests; to not put his own interests ahead of the beneficiaires; to use reasonable care and effort in doing these things), the court can order him to do certain things or replace him as an executor. 
This kind of action can be procedurally and legally complex--much more so than, say, a small claims case. Beneficiaries interested in exploring this option are advised to consult with a probate attorney.


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