You need to get a copy of the new (and old) Wills to a probate attorney to review and determine what your options are. A person does not get more under a Will just because he/she is the executor. The terms of the Will dictate the distribution of the estate. You need to have this reviewed and determine if your parent(s) had capacity when the later Will was signed, and/or whether there could have been undue influence exerted by your sibling. This all depends on the particular facts of your situation. Did your parent have their long time attorney draw this up, years before death? Or was the Will drawn up on the back of a magazine in the hospital, a day before the death? Were there disinterested witnesses? What was the state of health of your parent(s) when the last Will was drawn up? Was there any rational reason for you to be excluded? There are many other considerations.
Meet with a lawyer as soon as possible to see what you can do and how best to proceed.
I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration.
I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer.
Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.
First, let's distinguish between Executor under a Will and a beneficiary under a Will. An executor is the person in charge of probating the Will and administering the estate in accordance with both state law and the terms of the Will. The beneficiaries are to receive benefit from the estate pursuant to the terms of the Will after the payment of higher priority claims, including tax obligations, Year's Support (in GA) or Elective Shares (in other states), administration expenses, including the Executor's fee, and debts of the estate. The Executor may or may not actually be a beneficiary. As for your rights under a Will, you need to get a copy of the Will and seek the advice of competent legal counsel to assist you thereafter. And, if you can not get a copy of the Will then the attorney can likely get it for you.
You do have options. Call a local private attorney and sit down with them ans show them a copy of everything. If you have received notice from a probate court, it will be time sensitive. Also, if assests of an estate are being disposed of, it may be hard to get them back if you wait. Therefore, go see someone sooner than later.
The above information is general in nature. In order to obtain more specific and legal advice upon which to base your important decisions, please contact our office directly for a free phone or in person consultation.
Robert M. Gardner, Jr.
Hicks, Massey & Gardner, LLP
53 W. Candler St. Or 718 Oak St.
Winder, Ga. 30680 Gainesville, Georgia
(770) 307-4899 (770) 538-0555
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