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My mother-in-law passed away in October 2016 and until now the executor of the Will, my brother-in-law has not opened a probate. He has not given us any information about what has been left by my mother-in-law. My husband and their other sister and of course my brother-in-law who is also the executor are the beneficiaries of the Will. What can we do since we are out of state and it looks like my brother-in-law has no plan to open a probate anytime soon? Also, what do we do to know what assets that were left that do not need to go through probate? All we know is that she left an IRA with all the 3 of them as named beneficiaries.

Asked on February 28, 2018 under Estate Planning, Oregon


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation as it is.  So generally speaking, each state has laws that allow you to file a Petition to Compel Probate.  You can try that OR you can possibly file a Petition yourself (your husband or his sister) asking to be appointed as Personal Representative in his place for his failure to act.  Either way you should ask that one other of you be appointed with him given his track record.  The IRA would have passed outside the Will.  Your husband has the right to contact the institution that held it to inquire.  Good luck.

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