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LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10309
Experience:  Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
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My brother will not give me my small share of my mothers

Customer Question

my brother will not give me my small share of my mothers money after her death because he and his wife do not like me
JA: The Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: no because it is for a small amount and wasn't sure if I could take legal action
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: no she had a Will signed to divide the money between her 3 children period. left him in charge to carry out her wishes that's it
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

My sympathies for your family's loss.

An executor (the person named in the will to distribute the property) has a fiduciary duty to the heirs. A fiduciary duty means that the person in the fiduciary capacity owes a duty to the other person- and that the fiduciary must act in good faith, with the best intentions, to preserve any property that is at issue. Failure to act in this manner (essentially, a trust/guardian) is considered a "breach" and can result in:
1. removal of the fiduciary
2. sanctions (ie fines, award of attorney fees, etc)
3. damages (economic liability for the damages suffered by the party to whom the duty was owed)

So if the executor fails to distribute the property according to the will, they can be liable for the cost of damages- ie the value of the inheritance wrongly withheld, plus attorney fees and costs if acting in bad faith and the court orders payment of these expense.

Generally one would hire an attorney to write a demand letter; if ignored one would then file a lawsuit for breach of fiduciary duty.

This helps ensure that the decedent's wishes are being respected.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Hopefully the above information was useful during this trying time.

If one is still receiving resistance please contact an attorney to guide you through the process for challenging this.

Thank you for using JA.