Cleveland Clinton, of Gray Reed, has made available for download his article, “Can Executors Keep Secrets From Beneficiaries?””, published in JDSUPRA. The abstract is as follows:
Following the untimely death last year of his father Big Daddy Bux due to COVID-19, brother Hustler Bux was appointed independent executor of Big Daddy’s Will. When Hustler asked for a judicial discharge, sister Kathy “Kitten” – who had cared for both parents and still lived in the family home – objected complaining that Hustler failed to disclose important facts related to the estate. Kitten’s mistrust was intensified by altercations between them at the family home, and then confirmed by Hustler’s late inventory and accounting revealing his uneven distribution of Big Daddy’s $5 million estate. Without telling Kitten, Hustler (i) deeded the family home to Kitten and deducted his determination of its value from her share, (ii) deeded a ranch in Goliad to himself and their two brothers – but not her, (iii) reserved $150,000 of estate funds to cover his attorneys’ fees to defend any lawsuit. Kitten asked for explanations. Hustler refused. Even worse, Hustler intimated that, by just asking for the estate information, Kitten violated the will’s “no-contest” clause. Can Hustler refuse to tell Kitten about Big Daddy’s estate and his assets? What’s a “no-contest clause?” What is a judicial discharge?
Posted by Marin Larkin, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal