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.
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 no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to Texas. This answer is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation, and is for promotional purposes only. You should never rely on this answer alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.
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_Trustee_PA_Probate_law.html. 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.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org , 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 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 email@example.com , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.