Skip to Content

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

Klenk Law

Executors and Surcharges in Lehigh County, PA

Posted on Wed Mar 25, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Executors and Surcharges in Lehigh County, PA

Most Recently Updated July 14, 2018.

“I am the Executor of a Lehigh County, Pennsylvania estate. Should I be worried about the beneficiaries attempting to surcharge me?”

Jointly Owned Property with Children

Executors and Surcharges in Lehigh County, PA

Executors and Surcharges in Lehigh County, PA

As an executor, you have a duty to take possession of, maintain and administer all the real and personal estate of the decedent. In essence, you must preserve and protect the property for distribution to the proper persons within a reasonable time, in the manner a reasonably prudent person would in their own affairs.

Failure of Duty

When an executor fails to fulfill this duty, the court may impose a surcharge. A surcharge is a penalty imposed to compensate the beneficiaries for loss in value to Estate assets. The loss had to have been caused by the executor’s failure to meet his duty of care, not simply an error in judgment. A beneficiary would initially bear the burden of showing the executor’s failure to meet the proper standard of care.

The Lehigh County Orphans’ Court has broad discretion in surcharge cases including the full power to inquire and determine all questions that may prevent or delay the conversion and distribution of property. After reviewing the facts and law, the court can grant relief “as equity and justice shall require.”

This power is extremely broad.

This includes power to surcharge the personal assets of the Executor for mismanaging funds, or surcharging for return Executor’s compensation to the Estate. The assistance of an experienced Lehigh County Probate Attorney can help ensure your personal assets never become the target of a surcharge.

More Probate Questions?

Avoiding surcharges is only part of the overall probate process. By all means, if you wish to learn more, please read my more detailed article, The Probate Process All You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Executors and Surcharges in Lehigh County, PA

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining how to avoid a surcharge. 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 Probate Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Probate 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 make the process as painless as possible!

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

 

Tags:

Executor, Fiduciary Duty, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Probate, Probate Attorney, Probate Lawyer, Surcharge

What Our clients are saying

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

I saw four lawyers and was told by all of them; I should just forget contesting my mother's will. I knew what happened, but it is very hard to prove undue influence. I contacted the Law Offices of Peter L. Klenk & Associates. Attorney Amanda DiChello took my case. They were very honest and upfront about what would be involved trying to prove what I knew was true. Attorney DiChello may be young but she is extremely knowledgeable and skilled. She listened and understood what I conveyed to her. She knew exactly what information to use and crafted an outstanding interrogatory and many powerful depositions. Attorney DiChello understood the various emotional feelings this case created for my family and me; she was always there for us with a kind and encouraging word. We went to trial. The amount of work which she and her Paralegal did for the trial was incredible. They both knew my case inside and out! Attorney DiChello's powerful interrogative and thinking skills produced a positive outcome. Attorney DiChello did what other seasoned lawyers said was impossible!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Klenk Law is an exceptional practice. Their fine lawyers and staff team up to produce excellent results for their clients. They excel at explaining the often cryptic laws and policies that govern estate planning right down to the complexities of the various "trust" frameworks. Peter himself manages each client together with his great team, and he has a rare quality to be both a walking encyclopedia of planning minutia and also one of the most likable lawyers I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. He is truly generous in intellect and in his personal approach to getting the "big picture" for complex family structures. I trust him implicitly to help me make the right choices for the future. In short, Klenk Law is a gem of a firm.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

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

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

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.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.