When a loved one dies, it’s hard enough to handle all of the emotional fallout that comes along with your loss. It’s even harder, however, to try to manage a problematic situation with the estate’s executor.
You can challenge the executor of your loved one’s estate and ask the court to replace them, but you need to have good cause. Executors have many responsibilities, and it’s a job that not everyone can manage.
Here are some of the reasons you may want to challenge the executor of someone’s estate:
- They have not taken steps to secure the deceased’s assets. A big part of the executor’s job involves safeguarding those assets until the estate is settled and heirs collect what they are due. If an executor is letting people walk off with your grandmother’s jewelry or your uncle’s art pieces, it’s time to take action.
- They haven’t bothered to locate all the heirs or are antagonistic toward them. It really doesn’t matter what the executor thinks about your cousin — if someone is named in the will, the executor has a duty to try to locate them and work with them.
- They’re self-dealing out of the estate. Sometimes an executor plays loose-and-free with an estate for personal gain. If, for example, the executor just sold himself your uncle’s sports car at a very modest price, that’s cheating the estate of its fair value and a violation of the executor’s fiduciary duty.
- They just don’t seem up to the job. When your father named your brother his executor, that seemed like a reasonable choice. Since then, however, your brother has developed mental health issues that make it hard for him to function. He’s not filed the appropriate paperwork and the estate is in limbo. That’s a good reason to ask for someone else to take over.
If you think that you have a serious issue with the executor of an estate, it’s smart to find out more about what you can do to change things around.