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

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

My mother died several months ago. 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, etc. I don’t even have a copy of the Will. I do have a death certificate, that’s all. What should I do?

Asked on August 30, 2015 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The chancery court does. The chancery court is the division of the courts that overseas equitable matters, or those involving fairness and the performance of certain duties, like fiduciary duty or an executor's duty to the benefiaries. Often, the division of the chancery or court system which oversees estates is called the probate or surrogates' court. An interested party, which includes anyone who stood to inherit from the estate, who believes that another interested party or the executor has breached their duties, misappropriated assets, engaged in self-dealing putting themselves ahead of other interest parties, etc. can bring a legal action seeking an "accounting"--the court will require the executor, etc. to "account" for his actions, demonstrate what assets there were when he took over and what happened to them, etc. If an executor, for example, has acted improperly, the court can require him to repay the misappropriated or diverted, wasted, etc. money. 
s like this are significantly more complex than, say, suing in small claims court over an unpaid invoice or for a security deposit. You are advised to retain an attorney who does probate or estates work to represent you. With your share of $500,000 being, dependent on the will's terms, easily equal to several tens of thousands of dollars, if not $200k or more, it is well worth your while to speak with a lawyer and get professional representation.


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