What do I do if the executor refuses to give me what was willed to me? 4 Answers as of May 13, 2011

After my father died, my brother, who I believe is named executor in his will, refuses to give me what was willed to me. He also refuses to provide me with a copy of the will or anything that would give me knowledge of and/or a right to, the value of his estate. I'm sure the majority, if not his entire estate, was to be split equally between us as he always stated this while he was living. Also, I believe the contents of which is primarily cash. At the time of his death, he was not living in the same state as me and was actually living with my brother. I have no idea where to begin or how to proceed as I have repeatedly asked my brother for my inheritance and a copy of the will but he still refuses to comply. Your advice will be greatly appreciated.

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Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Your best bet is to hire a local estate attorney to handle this matter for you. It would appear that an Administration must be filed in the county in which your father resided. That will "flush out" the Will and allow you to view it because the brother will want to go by the Will and will have to file it with the Surrogate's Court to overcome the Administration Proceeding. However, your larger problem is that if the bulk of the estate was in cash, it's unlikely there will be any way to prove how much there was or what happened to it in the meantime. That's the biggest problem in this case. Speak to the lawyer first. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/13/2011
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
This will greatly depend on which state the Will should be Probated in. In New Hampshire, you can object to your brother acting as Executor and file Motions with the Court to get action. You also can review the Probate File at the County Court House in which your father was a resident including reading the Will. If your brother has not opened the Probate on your Father's Estate, you can Petition for Estate Administration and ask the Court for assistance in forcing your Brother to provide the necessary documents, or at least an explanation as to his behavior.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 5/11/2011
Apple Law Firm PLLC
Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
The person in possession of the will must file it with the Florida probate court within 10 days of death or you can bring an action to force it and recover the fees associated with the action. Once a Probate is opened, a PR will be appointed by the court and then the PR is in charge of distributing the assets, until a PR is appointed, the will cannot be acted upon. The will must also be admitted to the court. You might want to request a Free Florida Probate Handbook for more information on these topics from our website.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/10/2011
Meyer & Yee, LLP
Meyer & Yee, LLP | Kent W. Meyer
A court order can compel him to hand over the documents. He has a statutory duty to follow the terms of the Will. He also has a duty to account for all estate assets and liabilities. We would love to help you with this matter.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/10/2011
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