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Beneficiaries and an Unresponsive Executor in Atlantic County, NJ

Posted on Wed Oct 15, 2014, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Beneficiaries and an Unresponsive Executor in Atlantic County, NJ

Most Recently Updated July 7, 2018

My father died over two years ago and the executor has not yet sold the Brigantine house and will not return my calls, what can I do?”

Explain the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax

Beneficiaries and an Unresponsive Executor in Atlantic County, NJ

Beneficiaries and an Unresponsive Executor in Atlantic County, NJ

The executor is a fiduciary, with an obligation to follow the terms of the Will.

First, the beneficiary should examine the Will. Does the Will give any specific instructions concerning the house? Klenk Law often states in the Wills they draft that real estate “shall be sold”, to be clear that the executor needs to move forward selling the property. This also helps stop disputes between children when one child wants to keep a house and the other wants it sold. The child who wants the house has to step up and buy it.

If the Will says nothing about the house, then the executor may be contemplating distributing the house “in kind”, meaning not selling it, but giving it outright to the appropriate heir. If so, the executor needs to explain why after two years the house is still in the estate.

What should happen if the executor is not communicating with a beneficiary?

If the executor will not communicate with a beneficiary, they have the absolute right to retain an experienced Surrogate Court Attorney. Then, file a Petition in Atlantic County forcing the executor to “Account”. The judge can force the executor to account for every penny, plus provide a “Schedule of Distribution”, which is an explanation of the executor’s plan to turn over the estate assets to the beneficiaries. Through this process, the beneficiary will find out why the house is not being sold and, if necessary, have the judge order the executor to force the house’s sale.

Anything else?

It is also possible in this process to Petition to have the executor removed and replaced. If it can be proven that the beneficiary has suffered a financial loss because of the executor’s actions (or non-actions), they can also ask the judge to “surcharge” the executor out of his own funds to repair your loss.

Further Estate Litigation Questions?

Beneficiaries and an Unresponsive Executor in Atlantic County, NJ is only one of many Estate Litigation issues our firm addresses. Consequently, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Trust and Estate Litigation All You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Beneficiaries and an Unresponsive Executor in Atlantic County, NJ

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining what to do when an executor is not responsive. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Litigation Attorneys.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to put our 25 years of estate litigation experience to work for you.

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