If the executor appointed under a will is not administering the estate properly, there are many options that beneficiaries have at their disposal. The first option may be to send a formal demand letter to the executor to perform his or her duties as required. This may be done by the beneficiary or it may be possible for the beneficiary to have an attorney send such a letter.
Hopefully, this will be enough to get the executor to perform his or her duties in a timely manner. However, the next step may be to ask that the executor is removed from his or her position. The person who raises the issue may be eligible to name him or herself to the position or ask that the successor executor be named to the position.
A judge may appoint an independent executor of the estate while any matter is pending before the court. The extent to which the original executor did not perform his or her duties administering the estate will determine how long it takes to conclude any legal action against that person. At the end of any legal action against the executor, the person who initiated the action may request reimbursement of legal fees from the estate if the action was taken in good faith.
Part of prudent will preparation is to name an executor who the testator can trust to fulfill his or her last wishes. Obtaining the advice of an estate planning attorney may make it possible to determine the criteria used when choosing someone for the position. Such an attorney may also be able to draft documents in addition to a basic will that may be appropriate for a client’s situation.
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