Wimberley, TX asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Texas

Q: My sister is the executor/ primary beneficiary of my mother's will. So how can i insure she is true to the beneficiaries

My sister has made it a point to hire her family friend to probate the will and didn't include me for some reason. Is there something for her to gain by doing this? And I have yet to receive a copy of the will. I do know that she is entitled to half of everything and the other half is to be divided equally between 4 immediate relatives who include my brother and I, and his 2 adult children.

2 Lawyer Answers
Isaac Shutt
Isaac Shutt
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Richardson, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: This is why you should have an attorney help you. Your attorney could help get a copy of the will AND make sure that the executor follows the law.

Just to do the above, the cost is actually usually pretty low. So, I'd recommend reaching out to an attorney in the area where the probate case is being handled. Be sure to consult with an attorney with probate law experience.

Elisa  Reiter
Elisa Reiter
  • Dallas, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: According to Texas Estates Code 351.101, an executor or administrator of an estate has a duty of care to take care of estate property as a prudent person would take care of their own property.

Additionally, Texas Estates Code 404.001 states that an independent executor who defends an action for their removal in good faith, whether successful or not, shall be allowed out of the estate's funds all necessary expenses incurred in the defense.

If you have not yet received a copy of the will, you can request one from your sister. If she refuses to provide it, you may need to take legal action to obtain a copy. As a beneficiary, you have the right to receive a copy of the will and to be kept informed of the probate process. If you believe that your sister is not fulfilling her duties as executor, you may be able to have her removed. Texas Estates Code 304.001 sets out the order of preference for who the court will appoint as executor, and generally, a will specifies who should serve as the executor.

In summary, you can ensure that your sister is true to the beneficiaries of your mother's will by requesting a copy of the will, keeping informed of the probate process, and taking legal action if necessary. If you believe that your sister is not fulfilling her duties as executor, you may be able to have her removed and replaced with someone who will fulfill their duties properly.

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