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Suing an estate executor

| Mar 19, 2020 | Estate And Probate Litigation |

In an ideal world, the executor for your parents’ estate will do a fair and capable job, helping to divide the assets and carry out the instructions left for them in the will. That is the task they were given when they agreed to become the executor.

However, it is important to know that some executors make mistakes or take deliberate actions to go against what the deceased person would have wanted. This can lead to lawsuits and all manner of legal problems. Sometimes, heirs feel forced to sue an executor.

One reason this can be done is for “acts of gross negligence.” This is more than just making a mistake. It means making an obvious error that any reasonable person would have avoided, and it can lead to significant financial harm to the family. For instance, if the executor has to sell the family home and divide the money among the heirs, but then they sell it for half of the market value, the heirs lose a lot of money in the deal.

Another reason for these lawsuits is when the executor commits unethical actions or even fraud. They may do this for their own financial gain. For instance, they could try to interpret the wording of the will in a way that they know is inaccurate to increase their own share. This often happens when the executor is not a disinterested third party but one of the heirs.

You hope you will not run into any of these issues. However, if you do, make sure you know what legal steps to take.