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Can an executor of an estate withhold what is in the will until estate is no longer in probate, and what is time frame of prob.?

Bastrop, TX |

My sister is executor of our mother's estate. She refuses to state what is in the will. Says is isn't any of my business until estate is no longer in probate. She is upset because I caught her taking $ from my daughters account(S.S. Survivors Bene.) She paid $3,000.00 space rent for Modular Home that is part of estate. My daughters $ isn't part of that estate, and sis isn't her rep. payee. Nothing was said about us living here until the $ subject came up now she want's to charge me $700 a mo. rent. Home is free and clear. My daughter is 17 and I'm pretty sure our mother provided for my daughter to live here until she finishes college. Daughter and I live here not my sister.

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You sister is absolutely incorrect. If you are a beneficiary under the will, then she (pr her attorney) has a statutory duty to provide you with a copy of the will or that information. You should be able to call the Bastrop County Court to obtain a copy of the will offered for probate. Nonetheless, you should retain an experienced probate attorney to check the status and demand any other information she has not provided (such as the inventory that is required to be provided within 90 days after her appointment). Unless she is the sole beneficiary under the will, Texas law requires that she be represented by legal counsel as well..

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Most states require that the executor provide a copy to all beneficiaries. Also, a copy typically is attached to the petition for probate, and usually whoever files the petition is required to give all the beneficiaries notice of the hearing on the petition and a copy of the petition and exhibits (such as a will).

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Stephen Pearcy is licensed to practice law in California. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The response is for legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question.


Attorney Pearcy is correct. Assuming your sister properly filed the will, you will be able to obtain a copy at the probate court for the town or city where your mother resided at the time of her death. You may wish to retain an attorney to push your sister to her duties and, if necessary, bring this situation to the attention of the probate court. Good luck to you.

This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.


Your sister has it wrong. As an heir, meaning one who would inherit if there was no Will, you have a right to see the Will and contest it if you want. You need to hire your own probate attorney to push your sister in the right direction. You mentioned that you caught her taking Social Security Benefits from your daughter's account. That should cause you, as well as Soc. Sec., some concern.


As a beneficiary and interested party you are most certainly entitled to get a copy of the will and your sister, as executor, has to provide same as part of the process of being appointed an executor by the court. She has to file the original will with the probate court and therefore it is a public record for anyone to see. Bottom Line - you "think" she is the executor but it may not be the case based upon what you have told me. She probably has not even probated the will to get appointed as a formal executor...the fact she is listed in the will as such is of no import until she is officially appointed. You need to press the issue or, if unsuccessful, get a probate attorney to handle this for you.

My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a licensed attorney in your State should be obtained.

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