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My mother passed away in July just 6 weeks after my father's…

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My mother passed away...

My mother passed away in July just 6 weeks after my father's passing. My sister is named as my mother's Executor. She has given away and sold property within my parents home before notifying me. She also refuses to provide timely communications in regards ***** ***** my parents home. I have requested a copy of the accounting of all transactions against the estate to date but she refuses to comply. My mother lived in Virginia at the time of her passing. What rights do I have as a beneficiary named in the will. I don't live locally and must rely on email communications or phone calls to gain the info I have requested of the Executor but to date I have not been very successful in getting her to comply with requests. Should I consider hiring a lawyer to represent my interests?

Lawyer's Assistant: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?

I have copy of my mother's will you which I had to request of the Executor as it was never provided to me after my mother's death. Please note, after my father's passing their original wills could not be located, only copies, according to the Executor. My mother was in assisted living at the time of my father's death in June. Once the original wills could not be located my sister, my mother's executor, took her to a lawyer to have a new Will drawn up.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

It was widely known by parents' beneficiaries (3 sisters including myself) that the current Executor of my mother's Will was agreed to by both of my parents. However my father was verbally explicit with myself, my spouse, and others that he had gotten my sister to agree that she would not take a fee for executing their Will('s). When the Executor took my mother to her lawyer to have new Will drawn up she had a paragraph included regarding the taking of an executor' s fee and how much (percentage) that fee should be.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Estate Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
9/25/2017
Estate Lawyer: LegalGems, Attorney replied 7 months ago
LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,945
Experience: Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
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Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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Estate Lawyer: LegalGems, Attorney replied 7 months ago

I am sorry to hear you lost your parents so close together and then have the situation compounded by difficulties with the executor.

An executor is a fiduciary. 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).

The executor can be required to post a bond (discussed in below link) in order to protect the heirs. The executor must also provide an inventory and accounting; if the executor misappropriated/wasted property that is a violation of the fiduciary duty.

It is best to hire an attorney to write a demand letter requesting an accounting, and to keep the heir informed as to relevant events, particularly with real estate. If the executor refuses the attorney can file a motion to compel and the court may order it, or they may even remove the executor, determining that they are not capable of fulfilling the duties as required by the law.

Please see page 4 here:

http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/circuit/resources/probate_in_virginia.pdf

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you for your response. That is the direction I'm leaning, hiring a lawyer to represent my interests but was hoping it wouldn't come to that as I was hoping that I would not have to incur that expense.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Can I opt to discuss by phone at a later time?
Estate Lawyer: LegalGems, Attorney replied 7 months ago

The heir can always send a letter detailing what they are requesting, stating that should the executor not comply with the request, then an attorney will be retained to secure the information, along with a request for attorney fees and costs.

Then if the information is provided, and satisfactory, an attorney would not be needed (unless there is other misconduct that would require it).

I believe you are referring to the autogenerated call request; I don't participate in that service but if you have any follow up questions I would be happy to assist you on this page.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you.
Estate Lawyer: LegalGems, Attorney replied 7 months ago

You are most welcome; thank you and take care.

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