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How can you prove executor misconduct during probate?

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2024 | Estate Administration |

An executor is responsible for administering the estate of a deceased individual and executing the wishes outlined in their will, if one has been left behind. Given their prominent role in the probate process, the law requires executors to act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries. However, not all executors prove to be up to the task at hand.

Cases of executors taking advantage of their position to pursue personal agendas during probate are not unusual. Such executor misconduct may include mismanagement of assets, biased decision-making, lack of transparency and even outright theft. If you are a beneficiary, you have a right to be concerned when this happens, given that your inheritance could be at risk.

You can take legal action against an executor if they breach their fiduciary duty and recover what is rightfully yours. You may even be in a position to have them relieved of their role. However, you must provide supporting evidence for this to happen.

Document everything

Keep detailed records of all communication, transactions and activities related to the probate process. This may include emails, letters, financial statements and other relevant documents that may serve as evidence when proving executor misconduct. Remember, it is well within your legal rights to request a detailed account of the estate’s financial transactions from the executor.

Examine the will and stay involved during probate

Remember to review the will and ensure that the executor adheres to the wishes outlined in the document. Any deviations to the will’s provisions could be indicative of misconduct. It also helps to take an active role in the probate process as it will be easier to notice the red flags before it’s too late.

Seek legal support

Reaching out for legal assistance is crucial when proving executor misconduct. A legal professional can provide you with guidance, assess the strength of your case and help devise a strategic plan of action that can help you to right any significant wrongs made by an executor.