If an administrator does not talk with one of the heirs about final division of the estate, what are the heirs rights?

UPDATED: Apr 21, 2011

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If an administrator does not talk with one of the heirs about final division of the estate, what are the heirs rights?

My brother knowingly filed a false statement with petition for probate. He has continued to make false allegations to/towards me. He does not discuss anything with me. For example, I had tried before probate, and continuing to the present, to get him to at least request a “at location appraisal ” to establish true value. Every proposal presented is rejected period. Now he has a another plan that as he said I need you to work with me on this. I don’t believe anything he says.

Asked on April 21, 2011 under Estate Planning, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Based on the facts presented, there appears to have been a breach of "fiduciary duty" by the adminsitrator (your brother).  This duty is the duty implied when someone is put in a position of trust to benefit other, such as that between an executor/administrator and beneficiaries/heirs.  An administrator owes a duty to exercise its obligations to the estate in accordance with applicable pursuant state intestacy laws (the laws governing the administration of an estate when there is no Will).  Accordingly, an administrator must at all times exercise good faith and put their interests second to the interests of the heirs and/or estate.      

Since your brother has done nothing to advance the probate of the estate and has allegedly filed a false petiton (although you did not stay why you believe it to be false), there may well be either fraud, negligence, and/or other misconduct at play.  Therefore, you can contact the probate court in question and/or consult directly with a probate attorney on all of this.  You can challenge your brother's role as administrator and have him removed for breach of his fiduciary duty.  Additionally, you will then need to have someone else appointed who can challenge any transfers and transactions that may have been made which were not in the best interests of the estate, as well as move to have an accounting of the estate.  If your brother, in his capacity as administrator, is bonded (insured) you may also be able to go after any insurance money to recoup losses, if any.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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