If the executor is untrustworthy, how do I protect myself?
Posted on Fri Oct 23, 2015, on Estate Litigation
From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: “My mother died a resident of Bucks County and named her sister as her executor. I am the beneficiary of the entire estate. My aunt filed the will last month, but has changed the locks on the house and refuses to answer my calls. She has a history of alcohol abuse, and I am worried that she is spending the estate money on herself. Is there any way that I could freeze the accounts and protect my inheritance?”
Most Recently Updated July 31, 2018.
Stopping PA Executor Abuse of Power
Pennsylvania executors are given a great deal of power to act on their own, without court supervision. They are not obligated to share much information with you on demand. This works well when the executor is honest, as the estate can be managed less expensively. An honest executor will keep the heirs informed of progress because if they do not, the heirs have the right to have an Orphans’ Court judge order them to provide the data.
File a Petition of Accounting
If the Executor is untrustworthy, this system does not work as well. The beneficiaries must utilize the court to protect themselves. In your case, we can contact the Executor and inform her that we will file a Petition for Accounting with the Orphans’ Court and force her to provide you with the requested information.
Unless you have proof that she is stealing, she is given 4 months to gather together information before the court will normally force her to account, so without more evidence I would suggest that we give her some time, but continue to let her know that we are waiting. If she provides you with satisfactory information then there is not need to file, but if she does not, we would move forward. If the facts are right, we may also ask that she be removed and replaced as executor. Sometimes, the executor just needs to know that you have a competent estate litigation attorney representing you to keep her on the straight and narrow path.
Further Estate Litigation Questions?
Stopping PA Executor Abuse of Power 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: Stopping PA Executor Abuse of Power
I hope that this article was helpful in explaining how to stop Executor Abuse of Power. 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 Litigation 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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Tags:Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Duties and Responsibilities, Estate Litigation, Estate Litigation Attorney, Estate Litigation Lawyer, Fiduciary Duty, Formal Accounting, Litigation, Orphans' Court, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Standard of Care for Fiduciaries