When an executor breaches their fiduciary duty

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2022 | Probate Litigation |

For the period an estate goes through the probate process, the executor runs the show. That’s who the testator entrusted with handing down the estate to the heirs. Since they are tasked with gathering all of the estate’s taxes and paying out debts and other obligations, an executor has access to virtually every asset in the estate.

So what happens when they start using those assets for their personal benefits? As the beneficiary, you cannot wait until the probate process is concluded to act against a rogue executor. 

What can you do about it?

As soon as you discover financial impropriety by the executor, you need to take steps towards securing the estate. Taking legal action against the executor may be a real possibility when everything else fails to work out.

It is advisable to have proof of your claims. These may include bank records or any actions taken by the executor that negatively impacted the estate, like selling a property way below the market value. 

Suppose it is established that the executor is in breach of their fiduciary duty. They may be relieved of their executor duty, and you can take action to recoup the amount lost from the estate. Not everything may be recoverable, which is why you need to act fast.

Protecting the estate

You will be directly affected by the executor’s financial impropriety as an estate’s beneficiary. Therefore, you need to be at the forefront in protecting what you are legally entitled to. Learning more about the probate process will ensure that you have an informed idea of how everything works and what is expected of the executor.