From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My husband’s aunt willed him a share of the proceeds on the sale of her jewelry, but the executor told us that the money was mine and sent me a check. We looked up the will ourselves at the Atlantic County Surrogate, and it looks like my husband should get more money. The executor will not answer our questions. What can we do?
As an heir listed in the will, your husband has the legal right to force the executor to account for the estate. Even though the money landed in your household, there could be plenty of reasons for you to insist that the cash is properly accounted for. In fact, a disbursement like this could cause you to question other aspects of the executor’s performance.
New Jersey has a system where the executor, or personal representative, is given a great deal of freedom without official oversight. This system relies on heirs bringing claims of mismanagement to the Surrogate’s attention. In your husband’s case, he could have us file a Petition for Accounting and the judge will force the executor to answer your questions and explain when the remaining assets will arrive.
If you have questions about Probate or Estate Litigation in Atlantic County, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.