What happens when an executor does not perform their necessary duties? The process involved with handling an estate requires that certain tasks be performed by an executor. When a person dies with a will, the estate will generally have to go through the probate process in accordance with Washington laws before property can be distributed to beneficiaries. The testator (the deceased maker of the will) will have named an executor to take charge of the process of administering the estate.
There are many legal requirements that executors must perform. The process can involve much more than simply taking property and handing it out to beneficiaries. Instead, the duties of an executor can include the following:
- Take inventory of the property and assets of the estate
- Notify beneficiaries of the death
- Notify creditors of the death
- Manage investment accounts, pay bills, and pay taxes on the estate during probate
- Defend the estate in any wrongful claims by creditors
- Defend the estate in any challenges to the will
- Distribute the assets and property as set out in the will provisions
- Close the estate with the probate court.
When the Executor of the Will is Not Performing Required Duties
Throughout this process, the executor also has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries. This means the executor must manage the estate in an adequate and impartial management manner and put the beneficiaries’ interests above their own. What happens when an executor refuses to perform their duties? If the executor fails to do so, both the estate and the beneficiaries can suffer substantial losses.
If you are an estate beneficiary who feels the executor is not handling their duties properly, you should not let this problem continue, as losses can keep adding up. It makes sense to get help from the Washington probate attorneys at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess for legal assistance. We will examine your individual situation and provide you with personalized service to find the options that work best for you.
What if an executor does not probate the will for an estate? The probate process can become complex when an executor refuses to perform their duties. Get a free consultation to discuss your concerns about your executor. Call us today at 206-621-1110.
What Happens If the Executor of the Estate Is Not Performing Duties?
If the executor of the estate is not performing their required duties, a beneficiary’s attorney can take legal action. Executors can be removed and sued for financial harm they caused. Your attorney may take the following steps:
- Petition the probate court to compel the executor to properly perform their duties.
- Petition the probate court requesting the executor’s removal and stating the reasons why. The probate judge will examine the situation and determine whether to remove the executor and appoint a new one.
- File a civil lawsuit for money damages to recover the financial losses the estate suffered because of the breach of duty or misconduct.
- Look into criminal charges. Executors who violate their duties often also violate the law. They may be charged with crimes such as stealing from the estate, fraud, and embezzlement. If this is the case, your attorney can bring the misconduct to the attention of the local prosecutor who will decide whether to pursue criminal charges.
What If the Executor Does Not Probate the Will?
If the executor does not probate the will or refuses to do any other of the required duties, you should speak to a probate attorney immediately. The longer the misconduct continues, the more the estate will be damaged, and the harder it will be to recover funds.
If executors do not have the knowledge and skills to administer the estate by themselves, they are required to get help from someone who does, such as a probate attorney.
Contact Our Attorneys for Help
If you are a beneficiary who worries about what will happen if an executor does not probate the will, or who suspects an executor is not performing duties correctly, we can help. If you have questions about other estate planning or probate matters, the Washington probate attorneys at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess can provide answers. We are here to assist you and your family on a wide range of estate planning and probate matters.
Do not allow executors who refuse to do their duties to continue to erode your inheritance. Call us today at 206-621-1110.