At what point do you hire an attorney if you are having issues with a family member named executor of will you are a beneficiary

Asked over 2 years ago - Fort Worth, TX

My grandmother's will states my Uncle doesn't have to file an inventory so he is being vague about the amount of oil/gas wells royalties owed to me and my brothers. He also hasn't distributed stocks. He also stated her personal checking account was to be his yet the will states all accounts be divided. It has been 3 months since she passed, not an incredibly long time but when I had to distribute my Mother's estate I communicated more and got busy doing the job. He has also made some strange statements that he might hold back some money "for taxes" and when I told him through email there shouldn't be any taxes since her estate is not in the millions he got very defensive. I don't want a huge fight with him but wonder at what point to hire an attorney. He lives in Alabama and I'm in TX.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. James Brian Thomas

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . A good answer really depends on some additional facts. First, it's incredibly important to know where the estate is being administered. Second, many states have altered or amended their inventorying statutes over the years. Texas, for example, has caught on to this trend by recently relieving the executor from making specific asset property public in certain circumstances. This should never be confused with an executor's fiduciary obligations, as those have only been broadened if anything. If you're a beneficiary, you're actually entitled to a pretty fair amount of information. If you aren't getting it, or if you have the feeling that something isn't quite right, there is no such thing as "too early" to contemplate visiting with an experienced probate attorney near you.

    I notice that you're posting from the Fort Worth area, which is one of several areas that I serve clients in. You don't mention where the estate is pending, but if it is a Texas estate, feel free to contact me through the link below or through this site. I'd be happy to learn a bit more about your case and see if we can't make sure things are moving forward appropriately.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted to practice law in the State of Texas only, and make... more
  2. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . In situation like these, beneficiaries need to retain their own estate lawyer. It may be that this person is looting the estate or not honoring his fiduciary duties. Perhaps he needs to be removed for cause. For removal for cause, please see my article entitled Pennsylvania Probate: Removal of Personal Representative Under PA Estates and Fiduciary Code at the following link: http://www.sjfpc.com/Probate_Removal_Executor_T.... Even though this relates to PA law most states have similar rules. You may be well served to speak with Mr. Thomas. He is a very sound and competent estate lawyer.

    Hope this helps.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia... more

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