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Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 54825
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My name is ***** ***** and the question is:
, After all

Customer Question

Customer: My name is ***** ***** and the question is:
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: After all the other beneficiaries have been paid, can an executor of an estate refuse to pay and hold hostage the payment one of the beneficiaries claiming that that beneficiary owes money to the executor for an unrelated issue?
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. My name is Richard.

No, that would not be acceptable and the executor would be in breach of his fiduciary duty. The estate assets are not the executor's personal piggy bank. The executor has a fiduciary duty to each beneficiary. The executor has no right to hold a beneficiary's money hostage. If the executor has a separate claim against a beneficiary, the executor needs to file suit, get a judgment, and then go after the beneficiary independently. But, the executor has no legal right to misappropriate estate money to pay a separate claim. That's a breach of fiduciary duty and will subject the executor to removal and actual and possibly punitive damages.

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