They are in the process of getting a divorce. After my grandfather died (Oct. 3, 2011), in Rains Cnty, Tx. She was appointed by the Crt as an Independent Executrix. She did retain an attorney for herself. The Will states that the 2 houses, ALL motor vehicles, household furniture, and all the REST, residue, and remainder of his estate to be divided in equal shares between the 14 of us. And yes, we all got a copy of the will, as well as, the Order Probating Will and Authorizing Letters Testamentary. My question is THIS: Since my brother has left her, I found out that HER best friend has been living in 1 of the houses (rent free) ever since his death. I called the Rains Cty Crt. has she has filed the inventory. WHAT DO I DO? I feel she is scaming us. She keeps telling us nothing is selling!
She is lazy and stays drunk. I live in Houston, Tx, and I would llike to see the inventory list, but she will not send me a copy. And, as long as her friend lives in one of the houses for sale...IT WON'T SELL. They will just keep telling us that it won't sell. Within 2 years, it will all be gone. I know she is keeping what she wants. She gave my brother all the guns, etc. That is just not right. That is NOT what is states in the Will. What recourse do I have?? All 14 of us named in my grandfathers WILL are upset about this, but we feel like we can't do ANYTHING from here. I thought she HAD to send us a copy of the inventory list, to give us a chance to see if we would want to buy. I know she doesn't have a seperate bank account. She uses the money to pay her own bills and that of her friends. Please help us. Please. Thank you for your time.
Estate Planning Attorney
Given your strong comments, I suggest that you retain a probate litigation attorney who practices regularly before the Raines County, Texas probate court immediately. While the fact that your brother is divorcing your sister in law has no impact on this situation (the will named her as executrix and that designation continues regardless of her legal relationship to your family), your allegations that she is using the estate assets for her personal benefit and allowing persons to live in real property without rent (or other benefit to the estate), and the impact of her impairment on her ability to properly administer the estate need to be addressed NOW. An experienced attorney will be fully aware of the proper conduct of a fidicuary in that county and will be able to factually present your arguments to the court to have her removed. You can also talk to her attorney, but this person represents your sister in law and not you. Act NOW. Do not wait. If cost is a concern, then speak to the other 13 beneficiaries that are impacted by these actions and reach an arrangement to share the costs.
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Family Law Attorney
You will need to hire a probate attorney in Rains County to try to have her removed as executrix.
The executor has 90 days to file an Inventory, Appraisement, and List of Claims with the Court from the day she was qualified. The day the executor is qualified is typically the same day the will was admitted for probate.
The executor also has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries. From your description it sounds like she has breached that duty. You can ask the Judge to remove her and appoint you as executor. You will need to show the Judge evidence to prove that she is not doing what she is supposed to be doing.
Estate Planning Attorney
I am sorry for the loss of your grandfather. Unhappy beneficiaries should have their own lawyer review the facts of the case to see what, if anything can be done. As another lawyer commented, you should hire someone familiar with probate litigation in the county where your grandfather's will was probated. One thing you can do on your own is place a telephone call to the the county court clerk and purchase a copy of the Inventory so you can see if all assets have been listed. Again, it is best to visit with your own lawyer about your options. The lawyer you hire may also be happy to represent some or all of the other beneficiaries as well. I wish you the best of luck. .
Estate Planning Attorney
Just to add to the comments above, it may not take litigation to get the issue resolved. Her lawyer may very well not be aware of the situation. It may just take a letter and a few phones calls to get to the bottom of the situation and remedy it, including having the friend out of the house and perhaps having your former sister-in-law resign.
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