What can I do if I do not trust the executor of my father’s estate?

UPDATED: Dec 27, 2011

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What can I do if I do not trust the executor of my father’s estate?

As the youngest daughter, I am not named executor of my father’s estate. My older brother was and he is extremely cold to me. He doesn’t treat me well; I do not trust him. The value of my father’s estate is over $1 million. What steps can I take to protect myself? How do I know if assets are being passed fairly and what steps can I take to protect myself? Should I hire a lawyer?

Asked on December 27, 2011 under Estate Planning, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your older brother as the executor of the estate of your father owes you a fiduciary duty of good faith and utmost trust. He is required to submit periodic updates to the beneficiaries of your father's estate and provide you with copies of all filed documents with the estate.

If there is a probate attorney overseening the process, perhaps you would feel more comfortable speaking with him or her about the process as opposed to your brother? The assets of the state are listed under the penalty of perjury by the executor. If he is not being honest in the process, the court can issue a citation to appear and answer questions. If you wish to retain an attorney to represent you in the process, you can. However, from what you have written at this point, I see no need to have another attorney involved.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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