Klenk Law

Tag: Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Executor Wrongdoing in Camden County, New Jersey – Steps Needed

Posted on Wed Jul 29, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: For years, my parents lent money to my cousin and his wife to pay their children’s education. To my surprise, at their deaths, my cousin’s wife was named executor. She “hired” my cousin who is a CPA to handle the estate’s books. Over a year has passed and they refuse to give me any information about the estate and are calling the loans to them, “gifts”. What can I do?

I take it that you are the residuary beneficiary of the will? If so, you have the right to demand through a formal accounting to know where every penny went and a justification for every expense. You also have a right to investigate whether all those years of funding education and other money transfers were gifts or loans.

Executor Bad Acts – Request a Schedule of Distribution

Posted on Fri Jul 24, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My stepfather died about a year ago and left me a very nice truck in his will. The executor stopped taking my calls about when I would get the truck. I just found out he used the truck to haul his boat on a recent fishing vacation. How do I get the executor to give me my inheritance?

Just when I think I’ve heard it all about bad executors, you give me a story of an executor who drives estate assets on his own fishing trip.

Protecting PA Inheritance from an Untrustworthy Executor

Posted on Wed Jul 15, 2015, on Formal Accounting

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I am a beneficiary in a will that has been through probate. Unfortunately, the executrix is very untrustworthy, and I feel that she has been spending all the money in the deceased’s accounts. Neither she, nor her attorney, have provided me with any accounting of any accounts. Is there any way that I could freeze the accounts before all the money is spent?

Executors in Pennsylvania are given a great deal of power to act on their own, without court supervision. This works well when the Executor is honest, as the estate can be managed less expensively. If the Executor is untrustworthy, though, this system can fail unless the beneficiaries enforce their interests.

Can I distribute estate assets if a claim is pending?

Posted on Mon Jun 8, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I am the executor of my mother’s estate in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. I have advertised the estate and paid all the valid creditors, but a neighbor of my mother has made a claim for $10,000.00 that has no validity. Can I make distribution without paying him?

Although it’s technically possible, the correct answer is that you should not.

As the executor, you are free to make “at risk” distributions. That means if you later lose a claim, you’re personally at risk. Keep in mind, Pennsylvania is a rather creditor-friendly state.

How do I get answers about an inheritance in Atlantic County?

Posted on Tue Jun 2, 2015, on Formal Accounting

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My husband’s aunt willed him a share of the proceeds on the sale of her jewelry, but the executor told us that the money was mine and sent me a check. We looked up the will ourselves at the Atlantic County Surrogate, and it looks like my husband should get more money. The executor will not answer our questions. What can we do?

As an heir listed in the will, your husband has the legal right to force the executor to account for the estate. Even though the money landed in your household, there could be plenty of reasons for you to insist that the cash is properly accounted for.

When should I expect to receive my inheritance?

Posted on Tue May 19, 2015, on Estate Litigation

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My Grandmother died three years ago in Lehigh County leaving me a lump sum in her Will. The house is sold and the taxes are paid, but I have not received my inheritance. The executor will not return my calls, what can I do?

As the heir of a Lehigh estate, you have the right to force the executor to provide you with a timeline for when you will receive your inheritance. If the executor will not give you one voluntarily, you can have your Lehigh County Orphans’ Court lawyer file a Petition for Accounting with the court. The executor must reply, or face potential removal and surcharge.

Compelling an Executor to Release Inheritance in Delaware County, PA

Posted on Thu Apr 2, 2015, on Estate Litigation

My Grandmother died three years ago in Delaware County leaving me a lump sum in her Will. The house is sold, the taxes are paid but I have not received my inheritance. The executor will not return my calls, what can I do?

As the heir of a Delaware County estate, you do have the right to force the Executor to provide you with a time line when you will receive your inheritance. If the executor will not give you one voluntarily, you can have your Delaware County Orphans’ Court lawyer file a Petition for Accounting with the Delaware County Orphans’ Court.

Exclusive Power of Appointment and Bad Faith in Montgomery County Orphans’ Court Litigation

Posted on Thu Mar 26, 2015, on Estate Litigation

Some form of legal action is the first thought of most children who are disinherited by their parents, especially when their perceived share of the parents’ estate goes to their siblings instead. If it is your intention to create an estate plan that disinherits a child or to challenge a plan that disinherits you, many options exist.

The Orphans’ Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania recently ruled on one parent’s strategy to disinherit in the Zucker Estate.

Compelling Chester County Executor to Pay Your Inheritance

Posted on Mon Mar 16, 2015, on Estate Litigation

My Grandmother died three years ago in Chester County leaving me a lump sum in her Will. The house is sold, the taxes are paid but I have not received my inheritance. The executor will not return my calls, what can I do?

As the heir of a Chester County estate, you do have the right to force the Executor to provide you with a time line when you will receive your inheritance. If the executor will not give you one voluntarily, you can have your Chester County Orphans’ Court lawyer file a Petition for Accounting with the Chester County Orphans’ Court. The executor must reply, or face potential removal and surcharge.

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