What can be done if my sister-in-law is the executor of my children’s father’s estate and it has been 2 1/2 years with no settlement or distributions?

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What can be done if my sister-in-law is the executor of my children’s father’s estate and it has been 2 1/2 years with no settlement or distributions?

He did not have a Will. She currently uses and allows her parents to use all farm equipment to farm there land. Is this legal or is this self dealing? She is only maintaining the equipment that she is using. All other vehicles and equipment has not been serviced since his passing. Do I have legal claim for using her authority inappropritately?

Asked on May 12, 2015 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can petition the court to have your sister-in-law removed as executor and have another executor appointed.  As an executor, your sister-in-law has breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing by allowing her parents to use the equipment and farm the land and not maintaining the other vehicles and equipment.

Another issue is that if you and your children's father were married at the time of his death, then as the surviving spouse, you should have inherited his entire estate.  This is due to the fact that he died intestate (without a Will).  Under the rules of intestate succession, the surviving spouse inherits the entire estate.


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