Does an executor of a Will need to tell beneficiaries about the deceased's undistrbuted property?

Question Details:My father died in 2004. My uncle (his brother) is executor. The Will was never probated - all of the estate was distributed to my fathers 4 kids equally. My grandparents Will was never probated. Their home is now being sold to my cousin (my father's executor's daughter.) 1/5 of this property belongs to my dad and now to my siblings and I. My uncle now wants to probate my dad's Will so that he can sell this house to his daughter. My uncle will not tell us about how much he is selling it to his daughter. We also just found out about other property my father owns jointly with others that was not transferred. Can he have a conflict of interest? Should we speak to a probate attorney abut this? We're in Erie County, NY.

Asked 5 years ago under Wills, Trusts, Probate | 2894 Views | More Legal Topics

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B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar | FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney Answered 5 years ago

Please, find an experienced probate attorney and schedule a consultation, absolutely as soon as possible.  I do not think your uncle is dealing fairly with the estate;  based on what you have written, I am almost completely certain that you should be able to have a court bring all of this to a halt, and demand an explanation in detail of what has been done and what is being contemplated.

You are absolutely entitled to an accounting, of your father's entire estate.

Your uncle, as the executor, owes a very strict fiduciary duty to the estate and its beneficiaries (you and your siblings).  His proposed sale of property, in which the estate has an interest, to his own daughter, is something that a court would look at very, very closely, to make sure that there is no "sweetheart" deal here, that the estate is not getting anything less than it would from a fair, arms-length sale.

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