DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My mother’s cousin was appointed as executor to first my grandmother’s and then now my grandfather’s estates.
I know there were things that my mother had been promised that she never got when Grandma died, and now, there are a lot of things that Grandpa always said he wanted my brother and me to have, especially since our own father died when we were young and our grandfather was more like a dad to us. He was really good with repairs and stuff and had a lot of high-end tools to do different jobs around his house and ours.
Mom’s cousin seems to have decided his kids need the tools more than we do, but Mom says there was something in the will about our getting them. She has never seen the will and her cousin keeps saying he’ll send her a copy, but so far, nothing.
Can he get away with this? --- GIPPED IN OHIO
DEAR GIPPED IN OHIO: Family feuds are often started over wills, especially if the contents of the will vary from longstanding promises or understandings.
As executor, your mom’s cousin may only be obligated to notify the beneficiaries about what they are to receive, not to share the complete contents of the will. That may mean if the tools weren’t specifically designated as coming to you and your brother, their distribution, unfair as it seems, may have been left to the executor’s discretion.
Hopefully, you’ll get a better idea of how things stand when your mother sees the will.