Who overseas the executor of the Will to make sure things are in check?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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Who overseas the executor of the Will to make sure things are in check?

My mother died 4 months ago and my sister has power of attorney and her husband is the executor of the Will. About 10 years ago, my mother had a paid for house. She told me at the time she had almost $500,000 in savings and stocks. Now, my sister and her husband are telling me that mama had a gambling addiction, and that she was in bankruptcy, and there are no assets. They have not shown me any documentation, no disclosures. I don’t even have a copy of the Will. I do have a death certificate, that’s all. What can I do?

Asked on July 31, 2015 under Estate Planning, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

As somone who is likely in the will (it has not been proven that you are not) and who would inherit if there is no will (under "intestate succession"), you should qualify as an "interested party." An interested party can bring a legal action in probate or surrogate's court, seeking a court order compelling the executor to account for, or document and prove reasonable and accurate, the estate assets and her conduct or control over them. If the executor has wasted, diverted, misappropriated, etc. any assets, she can be held accounable for them. Because proceedings in probate or surrogate's court are different from a simple lawsuit for money, and because of how much may have been at stake ($500k+), you are advised to retain an attorney to do this.

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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