What to do if the executor of my mothers will is not truthful?

Asked over 2 years ago - Spring, TX

My mother has stated in her will that my uncle is the executor. Her investments are to be split half to my uncle and the other half to myself. How do I ensure that all her investments are split equally?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Robert Constantine Fafatas

    Contributor Level 9

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    Answered . You can request an accounting from the executor, including financial statements and other documents evidencing the assets and claims against the estate (which he should be ready to provide), to evaluate the value and whether the assets have been (or will be) properly distributed. If there is a current court action and the uncle is already acting as executor, you can certainly conduct any discovery with respect to the estate if you feel there is any mismanagement.

    Obviously, the facts and circumstances of each case would require a specific analysis in order to provide you with your specific options.

  2. James Brian Thomas

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . As my colleague points out, Executors in Texas are required to prepare an Inventory of the Estate. Under some new legislation, and depending on the language of the Will, this Inventory might or might not become a public record. But, as a beneficiary, you are entitled to know (1) what the Executor collected as assets of the estate, (2) what debts and expenses were paid with the estate property, and (3) what's left. Depending on the time that passes during the administration, you might even be entitled to a supplemental accounting prepared by the executor.

    Executors in Texas are fiduciaries. They owe some of the highest legal obligations that the law can impose upon a person, and once appointed, your uncle will owe these legal obligations to you as a beneficiary. If you think that there is even a chance that your uncle will be less than transparent and forthcoming, you should consult with and retain an attorney early in the process. Stopping bad behavior in its tracks is much easier than putting the pieces back together after the fact. I'm sorry for your loss, and I wish you the best of luck.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted to practice law in the State of Texas only, and make... more
  3. Brian W. Erikson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . As a fiduciary to your mother's estate, and an interested party, your uncle has to be very careful. A fiduciary obligation is about the highest that the law imposes in terms of candor and truthfulness. Any inappropriate accounting or misdeeds could subject your uncle to liability.

    As your mother's son, you should have a pretty good idea what all assets are involved. As the executor, your uncle is required to marshal the assets and account for them. He is required to prepare an inventory and appraisement for the assets. Review the document to determine its accuracy and completeness.

    Your uncle may have posted a fidelity bond. If your uncle has breached his fiduciary duties to the estate, you may consider making claim on the bond.

    Good luck.

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