Is it legal for an executor to purposely fail to notify a beneficiary of the place and time of probate in to prevent a possible Will contest?

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Is it legal for an executor to purposely fail to notify a beneficiary of the place and time of probate in to prevent a possible Will contest?

My brother was named executor on my dad’s handwritten (cut and pasted) Will. I was named as a beneficiary but was not notified of the probate date. When I asked my mother why I was not notified she replied, “Your brother told me only 2 people were needed at probate and he did not want you there because he thought you might contest something”. He has transferred property to himself (a boat and motor) that was supposed to be divided between all 3 sons. The Will was not self-proving and was cut and pasted to reduce from 4 pages to 3. What can I do to contest this?

Asked on May 26, 2011 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Hire an attorney as soon as you possibly can.  I really can not believe that a Last Will and Testament in the shape that you claim was admitted to Probate in the Courts in Texas.  That is a travesty.  You have to speak with an attorney about first having your brother removed as the fiduciary of the estate as he is obviously over stepping his bounds,  After he is removed you will need to discuss voiding the Last Will and Testament submitted.  Is there one that is in tact?  If not then he will have deemed to have died intestate and the intestacy statutes in the state will apply.  You need help with all of this.  You can not do it alone.  Good luck.


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