Executors of an estate have a great responsibility to properly administer all of the fiduciary duties for beneficiaries of an estate. This means handling all of the money and accounting for every transaction for the estate, which can be time consuming and confusing. An executor can be guilty of executor misconduct if he or she is not acting in the best interests of the beneficiaries or breaches their fiduciary duty. Having an estate lawyer helps protects executors from breaching the duties required under Pennsylvania law; even those who unwittingly make mistakes could be accused of executor misconduct.
If you suspect an executor of misconduct, it may be necessary to petition to remove the executor by proving misconduct occurred. Examples of executor misconduct include misappropriation of estate assets, or using the assets for his or her own financial gain. This would have to be proven within the petition by the beneficiaries. Only beneficiaries or creditors can initiate the action as these two groups would be those with financial interest in the estate. A hearing occurs whereupon the executor can explain or defend him or herself against the claims by the beneficiaries or creditors.
These cases can become drawn out and complex; beneficiaries can file suit for damages against an executor who has committed executor misconduct. Accusations of fraud, theft, incompetence, or intentionally mismanaging the estate assets should not be taken lightly; hiring an experienced Doylestown estate lawyer is the best way to handle any accusations or actions against executors.
Conversely, if you suspect an executor of misconduct, our experienced estate lawyers can handle your case and seek the appropriate form of restitution – whether it be by filing suit, or settling outside of court. The management of an estate can be an extremely confrontational and emotional situation for families.
Our office takes care to understand the full scope and tone of relationships with the beneficiaries and administrators to handle your case. Contact our office today by calling (215) 486-8171 or submitting an online inquiry form for more information and to schedule a consultation with a Doylestown estate lawyer.