Wha to do if an executor is withholding the contents of the Will from the beneficiaries?

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Wha to do if an executor is withholding the contents of the Will from the beneficiaries?

My husband’s father passed away. There are 4 siblings. The executor (sister) refuses to share the Will saying it must first be filed in probate court. Is there a timeline she must follow? Can we obtain a copy of the Will? Once it is filed does she have to follow a timeline to disperse assets? There is real estate that would need to be sold. The total value of the estate is around $300,000-$400,000. There is a problem; 2 sibs want the property sold and 2 do not. How is this resolved? Those who do want it sold suggested to those who want it to buy out those who don’t. Is there a web site that outlines this information. We live out of state.

Asked on May 10, 2012 under Estate Planning, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  It may be a good idea for you to seek consultation from an attorney to let you know what to expect.  Generally speaking, you do not have a right to see a copy of the Will until it is offered for Probate.  Once that happens it is a public record. Now, if all of the siblings were left the house  - and assuming that the rest of the estate is settled with other assets - then they all have equal rights to the home. Buying 2 out is an option.  The house is valued as of the date of death of their Father. It should be appraised.  Good luck. 


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