How can you find out when a Will is to be filed and how the funds will be disbursed?

UPDATED: May 10, 2011

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How can you find out when a Will is to be filed and how the funds will be disbursed?

My wife’s mother died in February this year. My wife’s sister is executor of the estate. She has not filed the Will yet and we suspect she has co-mingled funds from her mother’s accounts with her own. She will not discuss the Will with my wife as there is a very poor relationship between the two. She has however told our daughter, who needs an attorney for a criminal charge, that she will pay for the attorney with our daughter’s inheritance, even though she has not even filed the Will. What do you suggest we do?

Asked on May 10, 2011 under Estate Planning, Virginia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your wife's loss and for the ensuing problems.  Unfortunately even the best of relationships between siblings sour when parents pass away and the estate has to be probated.  Since your sister-in-law has yet to offer the Will for probate she is not yet the Executor of the estate and she should not be having access to funds that were in your Mother in Law's name.  So how she would be doing that is unknown unless she were a joint account holder, and that is a whole different issue her.  I would strongly suggest that you seek help from an attorney in your area on the matter if, for nothing else, than to send a letter on your behalf requesting that she probate the Will.  I would also suggest to your wife that she contest her appointment alone and request that the court allow them both to be appointed as co-executors.  You will need a good reason on your side.  I think that you have one here.  Ad remember that the attorney will cost you out of pocket.  Your sister in law's attorney to defend will be paid for withestate funds so better to settle the nmatter quickly.  Good luck to you. 

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