Will with a codisil executor not planning to follow the will

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Will with a codisil executor not planning to follow the will

My father told me before he passed away in 2015 that my grandfather’s will stated that me and my siblings are to receive his portion of his inheritance. My grandfather had a codisil written in 2015 after my father passed away that says anyone who contests his will only receives 100. My grandfather passed away this year.
I spoke to my uncle who’s the executor of his estate and he tells me that he is planning to give the money me and my siblings portion to my mother rather than myself and my siblings. We are all over 18 Everything I read tells me my uncle has to probate the will, there are 5 large properties/ acreage and one small property involved and several vehicles. My Uncle says he isn’t planning to probate the will, does he have to in Texas? What action can I take to make sure that my grandfather’s wishes are followed? I want this to go seamlessly but I’m not sure it will.

Thanks in advance for your guidance,
Zach

Asked on February 18, 2019 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A will must be probated: probate is what enforces the will.
An executor MUST follow the will; he has no legal power, right or authority to do other than what the will says.
If an executor will not follow the will, an heir or beneficiary can bring a kind of legal action in county court traditionally called an action for "an accounting" to force to the exector to "account" for his actions. If the court finds that the executor is not following the will, the court can order him (on pain of punishment) to follow what the will says; or if he already vioaled the will's instructions and his action cannot be undone, he can be ordered to personally pay to the heirs what they should have received; and he can be removed and replaced as executor. 
This kind of action is procedurally complex and not easy for a nonlawyer. Given how much is at stake, you are strongly advised to retain a probate lawyer to help you.


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