What can I do if executor of will refuses to give me my inheritance? 15 Answers as of August 26, 2013My mother died in 1999 and appointed my eldest sister as Executor of her will. One of the items Mom included was a piano I had purchased at the age of ten, but was being stored in her home. The irony here is that Mom put it in her will so my sister/executor wouldn't get her hands on it. I was also to be given her Kenmore sewing machine in it's cabinet, with it's matching chair, and several other items. Through the years, I have attempted to collect those items, but my sister kept refusing to honor my and the court's requests. I recently learned that she sold my piano and denies even having the other items. She claims the will had an expiration date. The case went to probate and when it came time to close, my sister tried to make me sign a paper stating that I'd received everything I'd inherited. I refused because she still had my property, but she got the lawyer to close the file anyway, without my signature! Years later, I've still received nothing. She refuses to speak to me in a civil manner and hangs up on me.
Rockhill Pinnick LLP | Jay Rigdon
If the will was probated, meaning that it was filed with the court and recognized as your mother's will, then the will is binding and has no "expiration date". If you were given items in the will that your sister has kept from you, you need to hire an attorney to sue for their return.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
You have some practical problems, here. It is possible that your sister was able to claim the items in question to cover administrative expenses of the estate. The fact that she had a lawyer makes it less likely that she simply did whatever she wanted. In order to pursue this at all, you would need to re-open the estate. That will involve a filing fee of $150. Beyond that, since the piano is gone, there is no way you are going to be able to recover that. There is a possible action for "conversion," if you can prove that the piano was actually yours. The Will might make this somewhat more difficult, because it makes it sound like this belonged to your mother. There are added damages in cases of conversion. You also have a statute of limitations, however, so it is not clear if you have waited too long. You need to decide if this is worth it to you. If it is not, I would let it go. If it is, then you should consult with a probate attorney, as soon as possible.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Sanford M. Martin, P.A. | Sanford M. Martin
The probate case should have resolved the issue. Review the probate order, Order of Discharge. If the court ordered such items belong to you, you may file a petition for enforcement of the order. If the court did not order that such items belong to you, you will have a difficult time. If you wish and the items are worth it, consult an attorney to represent you.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
I am afraid that you are probably too late. The time to protest was before the estate was closed. I would suggest, respectfully, that you accept the loss and move on as it is doubtful that the amount of loss which you have actually occurred, even with the property or its value was recovered that you would gain more than a litigation would cost you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
James Law Group | Christine James
You can pretty much do nothing at this point. You needed to take all of this up while the estate was in probate. Why wait all these years later? You are going to have to let this one go and if the situation ever arises again, don't wait over 10 years to try and enforce your rights.
Answer Applies to: California