My mother's estate has not gone through probate and the co-executor has given away her money and jewelry. What can I do about this?

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My mother passed away two weeks ago. I am a co-executor as well. Mother's well doesn't mention any of the gifts he has made. He says mother told him to do it. The money and jewelry all went to his old girl friends and people that work for him now or use to. Mother never told me about these gifts and we talked about everything right up to her death. I saw this co-executor nearly every day for the last 8 months when mother was in and out of the hospital and he never mentioned any of this to me either until he says the gifts were all made. There is nothing in writing that I know of either. Mother's will was really simple. All of her property was to be split evenly between my brother, my son, and my self.

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Something may have been done incorrectly, however, there is this concept of innocent until proven guilty, and (unfortunately) in Wills and probate, you have to get an attorney, who likely require lots of money up front--or, a good cut of money from the settlement they obtain for you. If there is not at least 50,000 in question, i wouldnt bother, because attoeney fees gonna cost you at least 10k. Go and ask some attorneys if they will take your case. Likely they will tell you its not worth it.
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Money is the root of all evil. I use to not think so but am now convinced that it is so. Why do people burden themselves with all the anguish, frustration and heartache fighting over money brings? Brother in your case i think going after what should be rightfully yours is the thing to do, but dont loose sleep over it. Make a plan work the plan with lawyers help and except the outcome. From what you have explained it will be a fight to get some things back especially the money given to caretakers and hired help. That never should have happened if as you say moms will did not specify it. I would have my doubts about this mans motives from the start, but you know him better than we do and perhaps he wasnt taking mom for a ride. One thing to remember is even people who have been around for decades can be running a con, they are in it for the long haul. You may want to develope a time line of events over the years to see if a pattern shows up that you didnt see at first. This will make you better prepared when you meet with the lawyer. I hope u will keep us updated as things progress, we all learn from each other.
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jeanlyles1 Did you report your sister in law to the State ethics board and the Bar Association. They take fraud (taking courses not related to her job with state money) very seriously and the BAR looks at a person's morality as well as legal behavior. At the very least if you file complaints with them all it will cause her problems and she deserves that at least. If you feel any of the doctors did something immoral or unethical, you can report them to the Medical Board in your state as well.
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This is why my brothers, sister in law, lawyers, doctor got away with doing away with my parents, for money. Each one unknowingly took part in the plan, the whole plan was planned and carried out by sister in law (attorney working for State). Hospice was used in the plan and their power reaches to a lot of other agencies, hospitals, and ultimate the lawyers. The sister in law even took State paid for courses in Health Care although she worked for the DOT in order to put her plans into affect. I understand what you are saying and that is the way I felt until I went through the horrors of loosing my Mother and Daddy in the worst possible way. Hospice could have been helpful however they were being directed by the sister in law who had no authority. She told the doctors what to do. I thought doctors had a responsibility that exceeded the authority of unrelated persons. Those directives ended my Daddy's life. And of course my sister and I were treated like crap. Our hired lawyers (50,000 in my and my sister's cost) also went along for the ride and although hired to protect my Mother and the Assets, that was ignored completely. Elderly Protection called the sister in law, ignored the people who did all the work over 35 yrs. Remember, follow the money. I Did, and all of this was found out after my parents were gone, all the fingerprints, liquidation of all assets stolen by this sister in law, her plans put into affect in two weeks after the lst death. (trust was worthless). My Dad and Mother went to resthomes over 25 years and the things my Dad told me were sick. The resthomes have not changed. They are worst. Sorry, if my experience exceeds anyone else's experience.
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jeanlyles1, I can't believe Hospice was brought in to help "kill" your mother. Hospice is to help people who are dying do so with dignity and without pain. Doctors, in my state anyway, authorize Hospice, you as a person don't just call Hospice in. Medicare pays for Hospice, there is paperwork involved. My mother had pancreatic cancer, one of my sister-in-laws had brain cancer, another one leukemia, we had Hospice for all 3 of them. It isn't just for dementia patients. Doctor's see them, nurses and social workers work with you. I have a sister-in-law who is a social worker for Hospice, there is no way in this world she would "kill" someone. Please get some grief counseling to help you through this difficult time in your life.
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Greed is a terrible thing. But yes, it's amazing how a little money - or a nice diamond can bring out the worst in people. I am truely surprise that these woman haven't returned the jewelry now that they know you object to them being given it - at that the "gifts" are in violation of your mothers will.
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Your lawyer should be able to help with getting the funds back. This coex is either stealing or under the wrong impression on his duties which is going by the will. If there is no codicil leaving certain items/money to certain people then the will is it.
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Two typos- should say "so he could help her" and "when she wanted to wear". Sorry, big thumb.
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I hired a probate lawyer who has 40 years of probate experience in my home state of Texas. He was recommended by a life long lawyer friend who is very successful himself. I'm beginning to feel more hopeful but still dealing with the betrayal. To answer a question, mother gave signatory privileges to this co-executor do he could help her manage her property and pay bills when necessary. She gave him a key to her safety deposit box and access privileges as well so he could get to her documents in times like now. And so he could get her jewelry when she wanted me wear it. She trusted him. I don't know when he lost his scruples. He has always been narcissistic but I don't think he was stealing until recently. Seems like there is a coincidence with the drinking problem. What does the comment about the "buns in the oven" means?

The ladies are also blowing my mind. One is an attorney who did some minor work for mother. They knew each other thru her parents who shared horse racing interests with mother. You would think she would have had better ethics than to take mother's jewelry. She knows mother's attorney very well also. She knew mother rejected the changes mother was considering to her will. She didn't even discuss the "gift" with mother's attorney. The other lady is a pediatrician who also was a witness to mother's will. She helped to treat mother too. Here is another ethics violation. I am not vengeful but all of these folks need to know that I will not cut them any slack. I'm in a state of disbelief over how quickly they have put themselves in jeopardy over some jewelry. If they wanted big diamond rings they're successful enough to buy their own.

I'll try to keep this post updated. Thanks for your comments and letting me vent.
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The rolls are making me hungry.
What is the meaning of the saying.?

Mu88
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