Executors should be acting in the best interest of the beneficiaries and the estate.
The last surviving parent has passed away.
She left a last will and testament.
In this will your mother divided her assets equally between you and your siblings.
She also named one of your siblings as the executor.
Apparently, that sibling has decided to abuse his power to get a larger chunk of inheritance.
Is there anything you can do?
According to a recent nj.com article titled “Your rights when family fights over a will,” there is.
Executors are accountable to the beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries should be informed of all actions taken by the executor.
When the executor probates a will, all beneficiaries named in the will and all heirs of law must be notified by the executor in writing within an allotted time frame.
Copies of the will must be provided to the beneficiaries upon request.
These beneficiaries then have a specific amount of time to contest the will.
If a testamentary trust was created, then the beneficiaries can see and review it as part of the will provisions.
The executor is responsible for settling and distributing the estate efficiently and quickly.
Any executors or trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to care for the estate assets, to be impartial in their dealings with beneficiaries, and to act in the best interests of the estate according to the wishes of the decedent.
The executor is thus accountable to the beneficiaries who can request an accounting of the actions of the executor as well as any supporting documentation.
The trustee is similarly required to keep beneficiaries informed to protect their interests.
What if a fiduciary breaches his or her fiduciary duties?
You can ask the court to remove the individual as the executor or trustee.
What happens if the court finds the executor or trustee to be in fault?
The executor or trustee is responsible for any misconduct and the legal fees associated with the action brought against him or her.
Does this sound like your situation?
Work with an experienced estate litigation attorney regarding your specific circumstances.
Reference: nj.com (September 28, 2018) “Your rights when family fights over a will”