As your father’s estate goes through probate, something strikes you and other beneficiaries that things are not going so smoothly. Obstacles have surfaced and questions are not answered. What is at the root of this?
Well, it turns out that the executor of your father’s estate has become negligent, and, one could say, borderline corrupt. It is time to promptly remove and replace the executor. And if things have grown extremely bad, then it is time to pursue legal action.
Failing to inform and breach of fiduciary duty
When any of these signs surface, it is time to get rid of the executor:
- Failing to enlighten beneficiaries: An executor’s duties include providing updates regarding the probate process. The executor owes it to the beneficiaries and heirs to keep them informed about the goings-on. Some things as simple as a phone call, letter and email may suffice for certain matters.
- Neglecting the required duties: There is a long list of things that an executor must do. Putting off these tasks will cause major delays in settling the estate. Those tasks include locating beneficiaries, paying outstanding bills and taxes and distributing assets.
- Playing favorites: Fair treatment for all beneficiaries and heirs is necessary for a smooth probate process. However, when an executor shows favoritism to some beneficiaries by providing them with more assets or cutting behind-the-scenes deals, it is time to begin removal action.
- Failure of fiduciary duty: An executor does this by putting his or her interests above those of the estate and the beneficiaries. An example includes pocketing money meant for distribution or seizing estate assets such as a car and relying on it for personal use.
If you suspect the executor neglecting the duties of this role, it is time to aggressively advocate for the estate and your fellow beneficiaries.
Litigation remains an option
Do not forget that litigation represents an option in the probate process. Removing an executive for an assortment of bad habits, bad practices and breach of fiduciary duty should put the beneficiaries at ease.