Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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You absolutely have rights here. The estate and its assets are not the executor's personal piggy bank simply because he's the executor. The executor has a fiduciary duty to each beneficiary. Each beneficiary is entitled to have the executor timely file the will for probate...usually within 30 days of death..., to timely administer the estate specifically pursuant to the terms of the will, to have the executor provide a copy of the full inventory of assets and periodic accounting of every dime in and out of the estate. Unless there is a particular situation complicating the administration, the administration of an estate would not take over 1 year to administrate and usually only 6-9 months. If the executor fails to produce the inventory, periodic accounting, or fails to timely administer the estate specifically in accordance to the will, you can file a petition with the probate court to have him removed as the executor for breach of fiduciary duty. And, if an accounting, which the court will order if the executor has not provided one, shows there to be any misappropriation of estate assets or funds, you can also ask the court to award actual and punitive damages against the executor. In your situation, I would put the executor on written notice by certified letter of the foregoing and let him know if he does not satisfy his fiduciary duty to you as a beneficiary in the administration of the estate, including keeping you informed of the progress, you will be filing the petition with the court to have him removed and be asking the court to order an audit of the estate.
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Thanks for following up. I'll be happy to draft a letter for you, I can do that for you through the Additional Services option offered by JustAnswer. If that would be helpful, let me know and I'll extend that offer and you can then decide whether or not to accept. Fair enough?