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The will states 1/3 to his wife, myself,and my sister. Can expenses come out of our part without showing us receipts?

Comanche, TX |

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.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. 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.

    Good Luck!

    Legal Disclaimer: Paul A. Smolinski is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois only, and as such, his answers to AVVO inquiries are based on his understanding of Illinois law only. His answers are for general information about perceived legal issues within this question only and no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to extend any right of confidentiality between you and Mr. Smolinski, to constitute legal advice, or create an attorney/client or other contractual relationship. An attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement including an evaluation of the specific legal problem and review of all the facts and documents at issue. We try to insure the accuracy of this information, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The reader should never assume that this information applies to his or her specific situation or constitutes legal advice. Therefore, please consult competent counsel that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances.


  2. 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.

    The above comments are made by an attorney at The Rieck Law Firm (RLF). RLF offers free initial consultation to potential clients and more information about this firm can be found at www.riecklawfirm.com. PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU COMMENT, EMAIL ME OR PHONE ME. Materials contained within this website and submitted by this user (including the above comments) provide information on general legal issues and are not intended to provide advice on any specific legal matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Answering a question does not make me your lawyer, and neither do follow-up comments and/or emails and/or phone calls, and you should not expect me to respond to your further questions if you haven't hired me. We need an actual agreement confirmed in writing before any attorney-client relationship is formed. This answer doesn't constitute legal advice, and shouldn't be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. Internet and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.


  3. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. 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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