Sometimes, people have unusual terms in their estate plans that baffle their families. The appointment of the least responsible family member or a child who lives across the country as an executor are perfect examples of situations that lead to trouble. So can situations where the executor has had a falling out with the rest of the family either before or after the probate process began.
When an executor starts showing signs of incompetence, illegal behavior or inappropriate dealings, how can the beneficiaries of an estate challenge their position and ask for someone else to take over?
You will have to file special paperwork with the courts
Thousands of estates move through the New York courts every year. In some of them, the executors don’t do their job, abuse their authority or even steal assets from the estate. Some actions or failures could constitute a violation of the executor’s fiduciary duty.
Whether someone has failed to take important steps, like filing paperwork with the courts or paying bills for the estate, the beneficiaries of the estate may need to ask the court to intervene to protect the assets and ensure timely and competent fulfillment of the testator’s last wishes. You can file a petition with the court which asks the judge to rescind the authority previously given to the executor. If they agree with your concerns after a review of the evidence, they may empower someone else as the executor.
Do you have a problem with the executor of someone’s estate?
Challenging an executor may temporarily delay estate administration but will benefit everyone in the long run if a more competent individual assumes that authority.