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From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: I think the Executor of my Mother’s Will is not doing what he is supposed to be doing. What should I do?
Recently updated July 1, 2018.
Beneficiaries of Camden County estates will often approach us asking our help in keeping an eye on the executor of an estate. This is often the result of the executor not sharing information about the estate with the beneficiary, the executor’s unreasonable delays, or when the executor’s behavior has raised the beneficiary’s concern.
What should I be doing in keeping an eye on the Executor?
When we are asked about what steps a beneficiary can take to keep an eye on the executor, I will outline various options, such as:
Reviewing the estate’s file at the Camden County Surrogate’s Office. The executor is required to make certain, timely filings with the Surrogate. These filings may hold valuable information about the executor’s progress…or lack thereof.
Contact the executor’s attorney to let that attorney know that you have now retained an attorney experienced in Camden Probate and an attorney experienced in the Camden County Surrogate Court. Sometimes an executor just needs a “nudge” from a lawyer to complete the estate.
Request an Informal Accounting and copies of the estate’s tax returns. We would then review these documents with you for accuracy. Some executors make mistakes on these documents that are difficult for a non-Probate Attorney to recognize.
Threaten to file a Petition for Formal Accounting and possibly a Petition to Remove the Executor. Sometimes it is necessary to go to court. This is a threat our firm can back up, as we have both a Probate and a Camden Surrogate Court Litigation department.
What is the plan of action on keeping an eye on the Executor?
The exact plan of action taken whenever a Beneficiary asks us to keep an eye on an executor will depend on the facts of the case and the relationships between the interested parties.
Some executors are slow to close an estate. This can be because of legitimate reasons. But at other times it is because they are lazy or emotionally unable to complete the job. It can also be spitefulness or they can even be criminals using delay to cover theft. When a Camden estate is not being handled in a manner you think appropriate, it is a good idea to have an experienced Camden Probate and Surrogate Court lawyer on your side.
I hope that this article was helpful in explaining how keeping an eye on the Executor is important. 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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Peter Klenk is the founding member of Klenk Law, a seven attorney boutique estate planning law firm. We serve clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Minnesota and Florida. Peter Klenk received his Masters in Taxation LL.M. from NYU Law School and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. He served his country in the Navy JAGC during Desert Storm. Easy to talk to, feel free to call Peter for an appointment. We will make the process as easy as possible!
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