How do we get paid our inheritance by an executor who has a conflict of interest?

UPDATED: Jul 13, 2010

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How do we get paid our inheritance by an executor who has a conflict of interest?

My grandfather passed away in March and in his Will he left $5,000 each to my 2 sisters and I, as well as some money to a few churches, and then the rest was to go to his brother. My grandmother and he never actually married but there was a deed which awarded the house to her. There were some money market accounts totaling about $250,000. In order to prevent the brother from trying to fight the deed to the house, she gave him $125,000. There was a bank account with about $20,000 in it. This was used to pay the funeral costs etc. The brother seems to be trying to get out of paying us our $5,000 each and will pay us “what’s left”, which will most likely be nothing. Shouldn’t he (being the executor of the Will) be required to pay us that money being that there is definitely enough money between all of the assets he had?

Asked on July 13, 2010 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts


Christine Socrates

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The will applies only to assets that must go through probate.  If all of the assets had beneficiary designations or were titled joint and survivor, then those assets would pass outside of probate and the will would not apply.  If your grandmother received the house by transfer on death deed or if the title of the house was joint and survivor with your grandfather and grandmother, she did not need to pay him.  It sounds like you should talk to a local attorney in your area to evaluate your situation. 

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