When a loved one passes away, an executor often handles the estate. The executor manages the estate’s assets and distributes them according to the deceased’s wishes, as outlined in their will.
However, not all executors are equally competent or trustworthy. According to California Probate Code, sections 8500 to 8505, beneficiaries may petition to remove an executor. If you notice the following signs, consider looking into a petition.
Lack of communication
A lack of communication is one of the most apparent signs of an executor mishandling an estate. Suppose the executor is not keeping beneficiaries informed about the estate’s status. In that case, it could signify an attempt to hide something or make decisions without consulting others. Executors should inform beneficiaries about legal proceedings, asset distribution and other vital details.
Mismanagement of assets
Another sign of an incompetent or immoral executor is if they mismanage the assets. This could include selling assets below market value, abusing investments or using estate assets for personal gain. Beneficiaries should be aware of the value of the assets in the estate and ensure that the executor manages them appropriately.
Delays in distribution
An executor has a legal duty to distribute the estate assets promptly. If the executor delays the distribution of assets, it could be a sign they are not fulfilling their responsibilities. Beneficiaries should pay attention to any delays and take action if necessary.
It is important to note that sometimes executors may have good reasons for delays or lack of communication and mismanagement of assets. However, consider challenging the executor’s ruling if there is doubt or suspicion. It is your right as a beneficiary.