Q. I am presently incarcerated. My mother recently died and left a very nice house free and clear of a mortgage, but left almost no money. My brother became administrator of her estate since there was no will. He used the money to pay a few of her bills and her funeral expenses. My sister informed me that he got a buyer for the house for $140,000. I received information a little while ago that he actually sold it for $170,000. I called him and wrote to him about this, and he told me to consider myself lucky since he could easily have told us that he sold it for a lot less. Is he right? Is he entitled to give us only what he decides? Don't we have the right to a full accounting for all the money? How do we go about getting it if he refuses? I will be incarcerated here for a long time, my sister is disabled, and it takes a pretty low person to do something like this to people who are in our position.
A. I agree completely with your last statement. Executors and administrators of estates have to report to the Orphans Court. I hope your sister can get a lawyer to get this snake (he's too low to be called a toad) to do what is right. I think that he'll shape up as soon as he gets a letter from a lawyer. He had better get on the stick, because getting the court involved could lead to a cell next to yours. The Orphans Court, in particular, is very zealous in seeing that those who depend upon it are not taken advantage of by unscrupulous administrators. I often marvel at how people in positions of trust think they cannot be caught or punished for their actions.