Delray Beach, FL asked in Probate for California

Q: My brother a California Resident passed and spouse claimed she could not locate his Will. I was informed she was

filing intestate. 4 months later, I was surprised when I was informed that I was the named executor in the Will and was asked to decline. I got copy of Will from her lawyer and I immediately filed as executor. Wife of 10 months petitioned based on me being dilatory and judge granted her executor. I am 50% beneficiary and she refuses to provide me with any information regarding the estate. How can I hold her accountable and protect my interest?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Adam T. Carralejo
Adam T. Carralejo
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: This isn't a bad thing. Now, as executrix, she has all the obligations to you with the Court supervising. One question is whether she got authority to administer the estate under the Independent Administrator of Estate Act (full or limited). This allows her more authority to administer the estate, up to and including sales of property if she has full authority. Otherwise she would need Court authority to make a lot of moves.

But regardless, she is accountable to the Court - and you if you participate in the proceedings. For example, she has to account for every piece of property, every penny in the estate, to maximize the value. Ideally, you would have an attorney to stay on top of her (does she have an attorney?).

Depending on the County we would be happy to assist at minimal cost as this is a fairly easy task - you just need to understand the process.

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