We are a Veteran Owned Business, providing 20% discounts for Veterans, First Responders, Elementary and High School teachers. We remain open during the shutdown period, so please contact us to set up a phone or Zoom meeting. Taking care of you and your family, It's What We Do!

Skip to Content
Klenk Law

Executor Problems with Beneficiaries

Posted on Thu Dec 10, 2020, on Probate and Estate Administration

From Our “Ask a Question,” Mailbag: “I am the executor of my father’s estate. My father gave me the house, and the rest is divided equally between my two sisters and me. My sisters are angry about this. They refuse to sign the family settlement agreement and keep threatening to challenge the will. Any suggestions about executor problems with beneficiaries?”

Executor Problems with Beneficiaries

Estate Planning Lawyer, Peter Klenk

Executor Problems with Beneficiaries?

As the Executor, you are given a great deal of power to manage the estate. But, in the end, you do want a full release of liability. A signed Family Settlement Agreement is a vital, final step. No money should be released to a beneficiary until you have obtained a finalized agreement.

Your siblings are free to refuse to sign the agreement. But that doesn’t tie your hands. You are free to have our Estate Litigation attorneys file a petition and formal accounting with the court. This formal accounting forces your sibling’s hands. They must respond, or they lose all their rights to challenge at a later date.

Formal Accountings, Bringing Matters to an End.

Formal Accountings are served on all interested parties. They then must respond, objecting to what they believe is incorrect. We find that obstinant beneficiaries without legitimate complaints fail to object. This brings the matter to an end.

Who Pays for the Formal Accounting?

As an executor, you have the legal right to use estate funds to pay for the accounting. You retain us as the executor, and the cost is deductable against any Inheritance or Estate Taxes.

For more detailed information, please see my article on Formal Accountings.

What if a Beneficiary Objects?

If there is an objection, you must respond. As your lawyers, we file a response to the objection. Then the judge schedules a time to review the evidence. The judge is not a detective. All evidence must be brought to the judge using the court’s formate. The rules of evidence apply, so having an experienced Estate Litigation attorney is vital. 

The judge listens to both sides, then decides. For example, let’s say your sister claims you sold the house for too little. To respond, we would present to the judge the appraisals and the realtor’s testimony. Your sister would need to present her own expert. The judge will not give much weight to your sister’s opinion. Once the judge has heard the evidence, the judge will rule one way or the other. 

Can I Make My Sister Pay for the Accounting?

Though you may wish to shift the cost to the objecting sibling, you likely will not be successful. Just as you have the right to file an accounting, a beneficiary has the right to object to your actions as executor.

In Conclusion: What to do about Executor Problems with Beneficiaries?

I hope you found helpful this short article responding to the question, What can I do about Executor Problems with Beneficiaries.  I have also included some links for more detailed information. If you would like to know more, or have an estate that needs our help, contact us.  Let our Probate and Estate Litigation lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. 

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!

It’s What We Do!

Tags:

Estate Litigation, Formal Accounting

What Our clients are saying

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter was excellent. He explained everything very clearly and is super friendly. My wife and I originally tried using a lawyer through group legal coverage, but unfortunately the old adage - "you get what you pay for" - applied to the other lawyer, and we decided to go with a real professional.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

When it came down to picking the right attorney to handle my affairs, I knew right away it was this firm. From speaking to their secretary to speaking to Peter I knew I was making the right decision. After only a few mins Peter knew right away what I was looking for and handled all my questions professionally and even gave me great feedback that put my mind at ease. All that without even giving a single penny! So of course I hired him! So far so good...

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

AWESOME LAWYER! Peter Klenk is an exceptional attorney and a very nice person! Today I spoke with Peter about estate planning and was impressed with by his professionalism, cordiality, and attention to detail. I highly recommend Klenk Law for probates, wills, trusts, and other issues germane to estate planning!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Great friendly staff

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Tremendous firm with bright, kind and tenacious people. Great representation for our family.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

I'm totally satisfied with Klenk Law. Peter has a great legal mind with the personality of the guy next door.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Everything about my experience was a 10+! Peter and his staff made what I thought would be a difficult process easy and understandable. Every detail was handled correctly. No other firm could possibly do better than Klenk Law!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Like another reviewer, I contacted Peter through his website using the free consultation link, for a question regarding PA inheritance taxes. The question was quite technical and difficult to explain, and the answer was nowhere to be found on the web. Peter grasped precisely what I was asking, and provided a clear, helpful response (with a touch of humor) the very next day.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Answered my question quickly and referred me to a colleague that could handle my problem

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Mr. Klenk, quickly understood the circumstances presented and provided clear and concise advice. This advice provided me with the information I required to progress the case to my advantage.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter is excellent. I had a very complicated situation with my parents' estate planning and potential Medicaid needs. Peter was very knowledgeable in estate planning matters, able to define the best solution for the situation. Additionally, he was congenial and able to communicate effectively to my senior citizen parents the benefits of estate planning. He earned my trust, and more importantly, my parents' trust in a 45 mins consultation period. Highly recommend Peter. He is very easy to work with.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter recently gave a presentation about Wills & Trusts at my employer, and it was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable and provided valuable information to the group. People were very engaged and asked several questions, all of which Peter thoroughly answered. Personally, my husband and I have selected Peter to help us with our estate planning, and he has been very helpful in providing us with all of the information we need to provide a secure future for our family. Thank you, Peter!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter explained things in a way that was easy to understand. Everything was done in the time frame he said it. Could not have been better!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

You & your staff are the best thank you for everything.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter and his staff handled all of our needs in a very professional and timely matter.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter Klenk made a complex subject understandable and allowed us to move forward with our estate planning. He was patient with our questions and creative in the solutions he proposed.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter explained a complex subject very clearly, helped us to decide the best approach to managing our estate and then made it very easy for us to execute the required documents. He will be a valuable resource for years to come and clearly has a great understanding of estate law that will lead to innovative solutions for us. I would unhesitatingly recommend him for estate planning.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Fantastic customer service. Very personable and most importantly they provide great explanations of what is required based on your individual needs. Highly recommend Klenk Law for anyone that needs to create a will and estate documents.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Always professional and very responsive. Everyone on the staff that I have worked with. I look forward to continuing our relationship.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Surprisingly easy

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Affable...yet surprisingly cerebral estate planning atty. High marks all the way around.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter and his associates made things easy for us.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.