Suing an Executor of an Estate the Easy Way
An executor of an estate is an individual appointed to administer a person’s estate upon their death. Although most estate executors carry out their obligations and treat all beneficiaries fairly, this is not always the case. Some executors show bias towards one beneficiary or prioritize their personal interests. When this happens, it may be in the beneficiary’s best interest to sue the executor of an estate for damages.
In this article, we will walk you through the obligations of an executor and what your rights are as a beneficiary. We will also introduce you to a hassle-free process of suing with DoNotPay.
What are Your Rights as an Estate Beneficiary?
Executors are required by law to comply with their obligations to beneficiaries. The table below outlines your rights as an estate beneficiary:
|Right to Information||It is a basic right of a beneficiary to know whether the estate is managed properly according to the terms of the will. Therefore, you should receive a copy of the will and be informed about the assets.|
|Right to Receive Entitlement||Administering an estate may take time depending on its nature and complexity. Some estates take more than a year to administer. However, a good executor keeps the beneficiaries well-informed of delays.|
|Right to Fair Treatment||The executor should not give preferential treatment to one particular beneficiary unless the will instructs them to do so. Even if the final decision is up to the executor, he/she has an obligation to keep beneficiaries informed to keep disagreements to a minimum.|
|Right to Accounting||Beneficiaries should receive a detailed report of income, expenses, and distributions. Beneficiaries should also review and approve the report prior to receiving their final share.|
|Right to Remove an Executor||The beneficiary can request the court to remove an executor if it is proven that the executor is not acting in the best interest of the estate. However, the removal needs to be justified before the court can take action. This protects the executor from unfair removal unless there is a serious breach of obligations.|
What are the Reasons to Sue an Executor?
If the executor breaches fiduciary duties or causes financial losses to the estate, the beneficiary may sue. If an estate beneficiary suspects the executor of wrongdoing, whether intentionally or accidentally, there are actions that they can take to protect their rights and the estate. Here are some of the reasons to sue an executor:
- Failed to provide accounting
- Displayed favoritism towards another beneficiary
- Misappropriated the assets for personal interests
- Mismanaged the assets
- Failed to pay taxes on the estate
- Made risky investments and endangered the assets
- Placed his/her personal interest above that of the beneficiary resulting in a conflict of interest
Five Points About Filing Lawsuits Against Executors
If there is sufficient evidence of a breach of fiduciary duty, the beneficiary may take action to remove the executor. If you are thinking of filing a lawsuit against an executor, here are some pointers to remember:
- Executors can be sued both in a personal capacity and as executor
- Executors can be sued personally for illegal or incompetent estate management
- Minors can sue executors as long as an adult files the lawsuit on their behalf
- Some of the common lawsuits against executor are fraud, self-interest, and embezzlement
- Lawsuits against executors may be brought in probate court or small claims court depending on the dollar amount of damages
How to Sue an Executor with DoNotPay
Taking legal action against an executor of an estate is a daunting process. The lawsuit can be time-consuming and expensive. This is where DoNotPay can help! We are the world’s first robot lawyer and we provide users with a streamlined suing process. To file a small claims suit, all you need to do is:
- Log in to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now product
- Quantify your damages in monetary terms
- Select whether you want a demand letter or court filing forms
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details, including photo proof
That’s it! DoNotPay will then generate a demand letter or court filing forms for you. We’ll also mail a copy of your demand letter to the estate executor you are suing!
DoNotPay Helps Estate Beneficiaries and More
DoNotPay has helped thousands of users file small claims suits. Check out some of the big corporations the robot lawyer has helped sue: