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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53722
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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Family Will Question: My Aunt's executor wants to distribute

Customer Question

Family Will Question: My Aunt's executor wants to distribute the remaining $140,000. of her estate to 11 heirs. 1. The heirs have never received an annual account. 2. Retirement funds were not included in the proposed distribution letter. 3. The estate home apparently was sold for approximately 1/2 the market value. 4. There appear to be overcharges in the letter to distribute the remaining (proposed) balance of the estate. Due to the $140,000. proposed distribution to possibly $300,000. to $400,000. possible realization if arbitrated or sued, what should we do?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 3 months ago.

Hi Thomas. My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today! It will take me just a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

Expert:  Richard replied 3 months ago.

I would certainly pursue this. The estate and its assets are not the executor's personal piggy bank simply because he's the executor. The executor has a fiduciary duty to each beneficiary. Each beneficiary is entitled to have the executor timely file the will for probate...usually within 30 days of death... to timely administer the estate specifically pursuant to the terms of the will, to have the executor provide a copy of the full inventory of assets and periodic accounting of every dime in and out of the estate. Unless there is a particular situation complicating the administration, the administration of an estate would not take over 1 year to administrate and usually only 6-9 months. If the executor fails to produce the inventory, periodic accounting, or fails to timely administer the estate specifically in accordance to the will, you can file a petition with the probate court to have him removed as the executor for breach of fiduciary duty. And, if an accounting, which the court will order if the executor has not provided one, shows there to be any misappropriation of estate assets or funds, you can also ask the court to award actual and punitive damages against the executor. In your situation, I would put the executor on written notice by certified letter of the foregoing and let the executor know that if a final accounting is not provided and it's to your satisfaction (including confirmation there has been no misappropriation of funds), you will be filing the petition with the court to have the executor removed, to order an audit of the estate, and to impose actual and punitive damages against the executor if there has been any misappropriation of funds.

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Expert:  Richard replied 3 months ago.

I just wanted to let you know that I will be away at a meeting for the next hour or so. Should you have a follow up while I’m away, I will address it immediately upon my return. Thank you in advance for your patience. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Expert:  Richard replied 3 months ago.

I have now returned, so if you have a follow up, I'll be happy to help you with it. Thanks for your patience!

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