As an executor, your brother will be required to file an accounting for the estate with the probate court. As an heir you will have the opporutinty to object to his accounting. Unfortuantely, by the time the accounting is filed, he may have spent the money that you feel should not have been paid to him. As an executor, he is not required to consult with the heirs on payments of justifiable expenses of the estate. However, upkeep of a property which passed outside of your mother's estate, is not an acceptable expense.
You do have the option of hiring an attorney to protect your interests. Please keep in mind that due to the fact that you would receive approximately $10,000, it may not make sense financially. Your brother would also hire an attorney for the estate. An estate attorney's costs are paid from the estate proceeds. Once you hire an attorney, the relationship between you and your siblings may be irreparably harmed.
I agree with the prior attorney except that if your brother is wasting estate assets you have no choice to retain counsel. If he has not acted prudently, you can bring a surcharge action to recover losses that resulted from his conduct. You would ultimately be able to get at his portion of the real estate as part of your recovery, so it may be more worthwhile to pursue this matter than the prior opinion indicated. To know for sure, you should at least meet with an estate litigation attorney to discuss this matter face to face in more detail.
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