From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: I think the Executor of my father’s estate is not being honest. How can I make sure? How can I go about keeping an eye on the executor in Delaware County?
Most Recently updated July 1, 2018
Beneficiaries of Delaware 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 steps are needed in keeping an eye on the Executor?
When we are asked about what steps a beneficiary can take in keeping an eye on the executor, I will outline various options, such as:
- Reviewing the estate’s file at the Delaware Register of Wills. The executor is required to make certain, timely filings with the Register. 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 Delaware Probate and an attorney experienced in the Delaware Orphans’ Court. Sometimes an executor just needs a “nudge” from a lawyer to complete the estate.
- Request an Informal Accounting and copies of the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Return. 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 Delaware Orphans’ Court Litigation department.
What is a good plan of action in keeping an eye on the executor?
The exact plan of action taken whenever a Beneficiary asks us for help in keeping an eye on the executor will depend on the exact facts of the case and the relationships between the interested parties.
Some executors are slow to close an estate because of legitimate reasons. But at other times it is because they are lazy or emotionally unable to complete the job. The executor can also be spiteful or they can even be criminals using delay to cover theft. When a Delaware estate is not being handled in a manner you think appropriate, it is a good idea to have an experienced Delaware Probate and Orphans’ Court lawyer on your side.
Further Estate Litigation Questions?
Keeping an eye on the executor 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.
I hope that this article was helpful in explaining steps in keeping an eye on the executor. 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 experienced 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.
Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation It’s All We Do!
Will Contest Attorney, Glen Ridenour.
Author, Peter Klenk, Esq.