What are my rights as sole beneficiary if the spouse is the Executor and not a beneficiary?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my rights as sole beneficiary if the spouse is the Executor and not a beneficiary?

My dad passed away 3 months ago. I am his adult daughter and only beneficiary in his Will. His wife is the executor and has harrassed me from the beginning saying that she gets everything and she will be passing out his property as she sees fit. As it looks in her plan, I will end up with absolutely nothing. I thought a Will was done to carry out wishes legally. How can she by-pass the law? She’s already given property away.

Asked on February 7, 2018 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your dad.
The executor/executrix must comply with the provisions of the Will.  
With regard to having the executrix removed, you can petition the court to have her removed and a successor appointed.
As for property that she has "given away", she has breached a fiduciary duty as executrix.  You should consider suing her for conversion which is theft in a civil case.  Your remedy is a constructive trust which will require her to return assets to your dad's estate that she has given away, stolen, etc.  A constructive trust can be used to trace assets that have been misappropriated and those assets or their value can be returned to your dad's estate. 

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