My father passed away recently. His will stated that all of his estate and belongings would be divided equally among his three children. Just before he died, my sister got him (unwittingly) to make her the beneficiary and executer of his will.
She took $40,000 from his bank accounts and over $9000 in cash from his home. She tried to buy my brother and I out of his land for $1500/acre when it is tax appraised at $4500/acre. Also, she went through his house and took everything of value that she liked, including an antique table that my mother promised my son before she died.
Is there anything I can do legally to make sure that the estate is equally divided, as my parents had intended it to be?
3 Answers from Attorneys
There may very well something you can do. However, I would need to review the documents. If you would like to discuss, feel free to give me a call.
Based on your post as you posted it, everything could be legal. For example, as to the table, it doesnt legally matter whatsoever what your mother wanted, as she predeceased your father. However, HIS wishes could matter.
The only possible grounds to object here would be if you could prove your father lacked testamentary capacity when he made his new will, or was subject to undue influence (also a very difficult and expensive thing to prove). There are strict timelines for such a claim, so based on the steps you mention, you may have missed deadlines.
In any event, step one is to have a lawyer review both wills and the facts. Feel free to call me. If my analysis is that your case is weak or prohibitively expensive, I can tell you that. On the better side, if you are acting in time and the facts support a case, you may be able to act, and I can discuss the steps with you.
Bear in mind that you can't "make sure" of anything. At best it is up to the court, and will challenges are difficult.
If she is violating the will or the letters testimentary, you can challenge her in probate court.
Also, if she hasn't been appointed as the personal representative, you can oppose her appointment. You may want to request the appointment or have the court appoint someone.