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LawGirl, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
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Experience:  I have experience in this practice area.
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My brother is the executor of my dads will. Dad passed away

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My brother is the executor of my dad's will. Dad passed away over 5 years ago and to this date, we still have not seen any distribution of dad's estate because my brother has spent all the money putting his son through UCDavis and his son's and his own personal expenses. The days before dad passed away, my brother was negotiating a land swap with some property of dad's. "Mysteriously" this land ended up in my brother's name only. It was originially in a trust for four of us children. We also have a partnership agreement with another piece of property that we farm rice on and my brother has broken so many aspects of the agreement. He acknowledges that he owes the trust, the corporation, and the partnership close to $1million but he will not pay it back, he is still moving assets into his private name, now setting up a trust so we cnnot lien his personal property, I can go on and on but botXXXXX XXXXXne is - how do I go about getting him to close the estate, pay back the money, account for the money he has spent (we have asked for an accounting, privately and legally and he ignores all requests), return the land he is moving to a trust, end the partnership without having to make a distribution to him, anything else so that my brothers and sisters and I get what is right? At this point, he is throwing salt into an open wound. We were all raised with a strong family bonding but he continues to take advantage of this and take what should have been given to all of us upon dad's death. There is only one brother in this family of 8 children that really needs the money but none of us have every really pushed my brother to settle this debt until recently when we found out he has moved a lot of property out of dad's estate to his own private name and then laughs at us for all being so stupid. Where do I start? Thanks PK

LawGirl :

Thank you for your question. I am deeply sorry for your loss. Did the will go through any sort of probate process? If so, is the probate still open?

JACUSTOMER-qlthxavg- :

Nothing has been settled that we know of. When I asked my brother about this, he will hedge the question. I asked why he still has Dad's bank account open and he said that he cannot make the final distributions until he pays back the money he owes to the account. He said the account has to remain open in case there are any other taxes owed. The accounting firm filed all the final tax returns within the year after dad's death. How do I find out if the probate is still open?

LawGirl and 6 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
You may consider checking the Probate court in the county wherein your father passed. To the extent that your brother is misappropriating funds and self-dealing, he may be removed as Executor and be forced to pay back the estate. To determine what has happened, you can file a petition requesting another accounting in light that distribution has not been completed and explaining your fears to the court. Although your brother may be inclined to ignore "reqeusts", it is hard to ignore a court order from a court that will hold him accountable.