If your loved one left behind a will, their appointed executor is to manage the estate during probate. Whether this is a relative or a stranger, the executor is legally obligated to always act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries. An executor is responsible for the entire estate, from consolidating assets to authorizing financial transactions and clearing outstanding debts or taxes.
Taking action against executor misconduct
Administering the estate and its finances are the executor’s duties. If you are a beneficiary, you may not get all to which you are entitled if the executor fails to do what they are supposed to. Pay attention during the probate process instead of trusting the process is going according to plan.
Should the executor misappropriate the estate’s assets or act outside the scope of their authority, they may be subject to legal penalties since it is a breach of their fiduciary duty. What are signs that an executor may be problematic? Consider these:
- They don’t return your phone calls or messages about the estate
- When they do answer you, they don’t give any concrete information
- You think they may be living beyond their means and using the estate’s money to do it
- You suspect that valuable items associated with the estate are missing
If you notice something off in the estate’s assets or the executor’s behavior, notify the court. With the help of your own legal counsel, you may be able to uncover the evidence you need to support your suspicions.
Protecting your rights as a beneficiary
Disputes with executors and other fiduciaries are not new. What matters is that they are resolved in the most efficient way to avoid unnecessary delays for your inheritance. It is worthwhile to understand the legal processes involved and what you can do to safeguard your interests.