Our dividend check still went into my Dads checking account. She sent us a check for $82. said the $3,424. were kept for expenses. So far she has taken almost $9000. from myself and my sister. Since it is 1/3 that means she says she has spent over $26,000 on expenses. We want to see receipts. Also insurance on the home and barns. She will not show proof of insurance either. I don't think we have any rights.
Elder Law Attorney
I think you need to consult with a local probate attorney for proper guidance.
Just because there is a Will doesn't mean that all assets (or even any assets) have to flow through the Will. Additionally, a Will doesn't control anything UNTIL a court approves the Will and appoints an Executor.
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Banking Law Attorney
Many questions would need to be answered to give a proper answer. Who is the named executor in the will, has it been probated, what kind of checking accounts are involved, etc. If the wife is the duly appointed executor, you as a beneficiary under the will are generally entitled to an accounting. Once you get an accounting you can evaluate the expenses and see if they are appropriate or if you are just being ripped off. You need to talk to a probate and estates attorney quickly, before any more money evaporates.
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Elder Law Attorney
The Will over controls the "probate estate" which is property solely in your fathers name, without a survivorship interest (like joint tenancy property), or a beneficiary designation as commonly seen with life insurance, checking accounts, brokerage accounts and investments. If your father and his wife held property jointly then you may not be entitled to it. You should contact a probate attorney in Texas.
If wife is the appointed Executor then she has a duty to account to you (as beneficiaries) and provide a copy of the will so you can interpret how expenses should be allocated among the 3 beneficiaries. If she has played "games" (called self-dealing) then you can ask the court to remove her as Executor and surcharge her for the monies improperly taken. Go see a probate attorney to figure best strategy.
This is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of an attorney should be obtained.
Estate Planning Attorney
I don't see the part of your explanation where you indicate that the wife was appointed by a court to serve as executor. This is a perfect example of one of the reasons probate exists. You need to hire an experienced probate attorney, compel her to probate the will, contest her appointment based on what she has already done, and make her account for what has already happened. In Texas, an executor MUST be represented by legal counsel unless he or she is the only beneficiary of the estate (which is clearly not the case here). The longer you wait - assuming you should be able do things without an attorney or the involvement of a court - the less likely you will ever see any of the property you have a right to.
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