What are my husband’s legal obligations if he’s the second executor in line?

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What are my husband’s legal obligations if he’s the second executor in line?

My husband’s 94 year old aunt passed away and we found out her caretaker of 4 years is the executor of the estate. My husband was named the second executor. The caretaker was to receive 25% of the estate if the aunt died at home. That did not happen. My husband has tried calling the caregive twice with no response to get a copy of the Will. What are my husband’s legal obligations to making sure his aunt’s wishes are followed? There is some suspicion that the caretaker has had ulterior motives from the start. The aunt has no children or relatives that live close. We are in AZ so traveling to AR is not an option at this time.

Asked on December 19, 2011 under Estate Planning, Arizona

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You will most likely need to hire an attorney in the state in which your husband's aunt passed away to a) locate the caretaker and b) as now legal representative of your husband to file a motion in court to force a copy of the will and possibly sue for undue influence. Be careful because if the aunt embedded any clauses in the will that prohiit contesting it, the lawyer will be limited to showing only undue influence. Your husband's role as an executor may not be live yet but better to get a jump on this since the caretaker cannot be located. Also, consider contacting the local prosecutor in the aunt's state to see if this could be an elder abuse issue.


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