What to do if my mother died intestate and the personal representative is not acting in good faith?

UPDATED: Apr 17, 2013

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What to do if my mother died intestate and the personal representative is not acting in good faith?

Since none of us live in the state in which she died, we could not act as administrator. My brother hired his mother-in-law’s attorney who is to act as personal representative (administrator). My understanding is that means keeping the heirs informed. This is not happening; he will only talk to the brother that retained him. Although I believe he recieves 4% of the final estate. To date the house has been sold at a minimum to his brother-in-law and the attorney represents both families. Again unnotified, the same brother took the entire contents of the house and moved them out of state at a cost of $2200. I could do this for free, not to mention 1/4 should have stayed there for another sibling. Then they wanted me to sign a property value waiver. What are my options?

Asked on April 17, 2013 under Estate Planning, Ohio


Victor Waid / Law Office of Victor Waid

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First obtain probate litigation counsel to represent you as a beneficiary of your mother's estate. The counsel can file a petition for an accounting of the assets of the estate to determine your share. Second, as to the lawyer who is supposedly the administrator, he may not be the administrator of the estate, but represents the administrator, who is probably your brother. If the lawyer is the administrator he has major conflict of interest issues re the sale of the house to his brother inlaw at less than fair market value. Secondly, you may want to file a complaint with the California State Bar that licenses the lawyer, due to the sale of the house to the lawyer's brother in law at a minimum price, to have his license recalled, for self dealing, conflict of interest, for fraud and ethics violations, if in fact he is the administrator of the estate and may also be acting as the lawyer. You should obtain a lawyer in the county of the death of your mother, or  out of county if the county is too small to have enough lawyers to represent you in this type of matter.

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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