How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36178
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
19958803
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I need help with my mothers estate. I have been very

Customer Question

I need help with my mothers estate. I have been very concerned with the situation, my brother got a lawyer without telling me and refused to give me his information. I tracked him down, I have expressed concerns over my brother being the Executor, and now I have been informed he was made the executor with out me being notified. His lawyer is strong arming me to make a settlement and since the beginning, I have asked my brother to prepare an inventory of the assets of the Estate. I have been waiting , thinking the courts had to contact me, and now I am afraid they are going behind my back. How can I agree to settling on the estate when I have not seen anything? How can my brother, who is living in the house and already distributing things be made the executor with out me being notified? I have pleaded for a fair and simple discussion and solution to no avail. How do I find a lawyer to help?
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.

.

Did brother have your current address when he filed the probate case?

.

Is there a will that nominates him to be executor?

.

Can you tell me how long it has been since he has been appointed executor?

.

Have you contacted the surrogate court clerk and given them your contact information?

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. Yes, he absolutely had my current address and contact information.
2. Yes
3.No. I just found out from him and when I questioned his lawyer that knew I was waiting he started saying it was unclaimed mail. But that cannot be true. No one notified me ever!
4. No. I was never instructed to do that and did not know their was such a thing.. I trusted this lawyer was going to be fair.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, from a legal perspective, the executor has a legal duty to notify any beneficiaries named in the will once they file a probate case to be appointed. If he sent the notice out to the wrong address, then that could explain why you never received notice.

.

If you wanted to file a formal objection to his appointment, you could still do so since you were never legally informed that he was filing. But if he was nominated in the will, it is unlikely a judge would remove him from that position.

.

As for any inventory, he has a legal duty to file an inventory within 6 months of the estate being opened. So if it hasn't been 6 months yet, he wouldn't technically have to file the inventory or provide you with a copy of it. Once he filed it, you are legally entitled to a copy.

.

But just to be clear here...the attorney is representing brother and the estate, not you. So the attorney has no legal duty to respond to you as a beneficiary. This is a common misconception that the attorney represents everyone..

.

The executor has a legal duty to follow the directives in the will and to keep all beneficiaries reasonably informed as to the status of the estate. So I would suggest that you send him and the attorney a certified letter specifying your legal current address and asking that you be sent copies of anything that is filed with the court. Then they can't claim that they don't have your correct address since you have proof of sending it.

.

Settling an estate in NY will take a minimum of a year, so nothing happens very fast and you should have plenty of notice before any distributions are made. You are also entitled to a copy of the will once it is filed and any inventory and accounting showing where assets went.

.

But if brother is distributing things out of the house prior to 7 months passing, then this is inappropriate and you could file a written objection with the court or hire a local probate or estate law attorney to represent you and file it on your behalf.

.

Unfortunately, I am not allowed to represent customers from the site or recommend anyone personally under my agreement with JustAnswer. However, these are a couple sites that we attorneys actually use if we need foreign counsel in a state where we aren't licensed. Further, customers have consistently reported good results with these sites:

.

www.martindale.com

.

www.lawyers.com

.

They screen their attorneys based on geographic location, area of practice, time in practice, cost and customer reviews.

.

.

thanks

Barrister