What I do if my brother as taken over as Personal Representative of my late mother’s estate but without authorization?

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What I do if my brother as taken over as Personal Representative of my late mother’s estate but without authorization?

My mother appointed me as the PR of her Will with full power and authority of her estate. In the event of my death or inability to act, my mother appointed my brother as successor PR. However, when she passed away, my brother, without asking, just stepped in. No changes were ever made to the Will. How could my brother get around this and just appoint himself representative? The Will stated that her estate be divided equally amongst her children. Instead, he took everything from my mother’s apartment leaving me with nothing. Was what he did legal and what recourse do I have?

Asked on August 25, 2013 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the problems that have resulted.  Did he actually file a Probate Petition with the Court?  This seems like a difficult task with out falsifying the petition- stating you were not capable or did not wish to serve as PR - and yes, it is improper and actionable.  You will need help here to sort through what exactly was done in Court.  If nothing then he acted with out authority and you need to be appointed by the Court as the PR to act and get back the estate assets that he dissipated.  Good luck.


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