If my sister and I are beneficiaries of my mom’s Will which splits all 50/50, can my sister keep me out of my mom’s home?

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If my sister and I are beneficiaries of my mom’s Will which splits all 50/50, can my sister keep me out of my mom’s home?

My mom’s Will states that everything is to be sold, including the house, and that sum to be split 50/50 between my only sister and I. My sister is the executor and she has changed the locks on my mom’s home and will not provide me with a key. She lives 4 hours away from the town where my mom’s home is and where I live. Can she keep me locked out and go in whenever she wants to and remove whatever she wants?

Asked on September 28, 2011 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the problems that you are having.  You sister, as the executor of the estate, has the power and the duty to do what she believes is necessary in the probating of the Will and in carrying out the wishes of your Mother.  She can not, however, do anything that would create a breach of her fiduciary duty.  Now the way that you have phrased the question I think that you think that she is taking what she wants and leaving the rest to be sold, which is against the wishes of your Mother.  If you believe that she has not properly inventoried the assets of the estate and is in fact in breach of her duty you have the right to challenge her and to ask for an accounting of the estate assets.  As for the house, yes, she can change the locks.  Good luck.


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