What to do if an executor fails to fulfill their role 

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2022 | Probate Litigation

It may be calming to know that the deceased has put their estate in the hands of a worthy executor. This executor is presumably chosen because they are trusted and respected by the deceased. The role of an executor helps ensure the deceased’s estates are protected and maintained until the estate is distributed. 

If, for any reason, the executor has failed to fill their role they may be putting the deceased’s estate (and your inheritance) in jeopardy. Their failure to swiftly take control of the estate may cause you to lose out on your inheritance. 

Signs that you need to challenge the executor’s position

The executor may be playing out their responsibilities quietly. Accusing them of mismanagement early could cause a misunderstanding – but you also don’t want to wait too long to ask the court to intercede. To ensure you have a solid reason to believe the executor is not doing their job, you need to gather reasonable evidence that shows they are unfit for the job. 

You may have reasonable evidence if the executor:

  • Fails to gather death certificates
  • Fails to notify creditors of the death
  • Fails to contact all the heirs
  • Fails to properly distribute the estate
  • Fails to pay the mortgages on any real estate
  • Fails to pay the taxes on the estate
  • Fails to maintain or loses the estate
  • Fails to protect valuables or steals from the estate

If any of these things are true, it may be possible to have the executor removed. You may also be able to take additional legal action to recover your losses. Experienced legal guidance can help you determine what steps you should take first.


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