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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55710
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My mother died in NYS and left money to be divided among 4

Customer Question

my mother died in NYS and left money to be divided among 4 children. My brother, the executor sent me a copy of the will and a paper asking if I contested it. I returned the paper notarized and heard nothing more. about 3 months after that I emailed the lawyer asking if there was anything else I needed to do. Shortly after that I received a letter that was full of foul language stated I was a bitch, low intelligence, etc. There was a check attached to this letter and a paper that said I declined the monies from the will. My brother in addition "demanded" that I sign this letter as he and my other two brothers had supported Mom for the last 20 years. We had not been in contact because of family issues,, I had no way of knowing that they were supporting her, I also was unaware that she was ill and my brother had assumed care of her. I put the money in a separate account to await any action. Can they reclaim that monies or may I donate to wounded warriors as was my intent
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

You need not worry about them having any right to get the money back. The money is yours; they have no legal right to require you to sign anything in order to receive the money that is rightfully yours. So, whether or not you sign this document, you can keep the money. Whether or not you want to pursue your brother as executor is up to you. I will tell you that he has acted unethically and breached his fiduciary duty to you as a beneficiary. The estate and its assets are not his 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. 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.

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