Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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If the other girl is in possession of the will, she needs to file the will with the probate court, usually within 30 days of the date of death. The will should name an executor who will then need to be officially appointed by the probate court as executor which will then give that person official authorization to administer the estate. Until that time, no one has any authority to do anything with your mother's assets. Your friend's estate and her assets are not the other girl's personal piggy bank. If she doesn't produce the will and cause it to be filed within 30 days of the date of your friend's death, the son of the deceased child can file his own petition with the court asking the court to order it produced and filed. The court will then order the other girl to produce it and if she does not, she will be held in contempt of court and be subject to civil and/or criminal sanctions. Once administration begins, the executor has a fiduciary duty to each beneficiary and each beneficiary is entitled to a copy of the full inventory of assets and periodic accounting of every dime in and out of the estate. A typical estate, presuming no unusual complexity can be completed with 6-9 months of the date of death. If the executor fails to produce the inventory, periodic accounting, or fails to timely administer the estate, you can file to have the executor removed for breach of fiduciary duty. If there is any misappropriation of estate assets, you can also ask the court to award actual and punitive damages against the executor.
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Hi Carol. Just following up to insure you received my response. Just in case, I have reposted it below.