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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36561
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My brother, who is the executor of Mom's estate, had her

Customer Question

My brother, who is the executor of Mom's estate, had her items appraised and trucked off to auction before we could see the appraisal list or choose items before they WENT to auction. I pressured for the list, received it, and TONS of property from inside and outside her residence were missing from the appraisal list. I have my suspicions that my brother removed these items for himself before he called the appraiser in the first place. Some items include her set of silverware for 12, silver pieces, heirloom, gold-rimmed wine glasses, vintage cookware, outside patio furniture, a snow blower, two wooden rockers, a TV, some small kitchen appliances, etc. I thought legally, that the executor had to keep an inventory and report to the beneficiaries the whereabouts of all items from the property. I have contacted the lawyers who are handling Mom's estate, but they had advised him to lock me out the day of her death for reasons unknown to me. I never knew my brother and I had any problems until now! What do I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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This is a difficult situation to deal with because if there is no other evidence to support a claim that those assets were there when mother passed other than your memory, then to be very honest, it will be hard to hold him accountable. He can simply claim that those assets weren't there, you claim they were, and without any additional proof either way, there is not enough for a probate judge to take any action. Even if the judge believes you, without any evidence that brother actually took the items, the judge can't order him to return them.

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This is commonly referred to as "raiding the estate" where someone, usually one or more family members, enter a deceased parent's house and then start taking things out prior to any formal inventory being prepared and filed. So when the inventory is filed, if the item isn't there, then there is no way to track where it went..

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So you can make the allegations in a formal objection filed with the probate court, but to be honest, without supporting evidence, I wouldn't hold out high hopes that it would go anywhere..

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

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