Will Executor Incompetent? What You Can Do to Appoint a New Executor
A will executor has the responsibility to carry out the wishes of the deceased person. Read about what you can do if the executor is incompetent or incapable.
A will executor should earn the trust of family members enough to effectively administer the deceased's wishes. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn't work out, and it doesn't matter how much money you are or who you are.
In the following article, we share some things to watch for if you suspect the executor of your loved one's will is not up for the task. Let's begin!
1. Establish Evidence of Gross Mismanagement
The executor of a will must administer it exactly as directed by the terms of the will as it was finalized. Straying from those directives, as has been argued in the Larry King case, definitely constitutes gross mismanagement of the departed's wishes.
In those circumstances, heirs may wish to speak with an attorney to see what the legal options are, what proof exists, and where to look for additional evidence. A legal professional can guide you, but it's important to remember that the burden of proving mismanagement is on you.
2. Prove Misuse of Funds
The executor of will duties (often called a "last will and testament") must adhere to where funds are directed. They cannot pay for personal expenses or use funds from the estate in ways that were not outlined in the wishes of the departed.
Proving that an executor made a purchase to benefit them will help you make your case. Ask for an accounting of how funds are spent every month, quarter, and year. Observing itemized expenses will give you the evidence you need to find malfeasance or at least point you in the next place to look.
3. Show Noncompliance With Court Orders
The question of can an executor change a will has a simple answer. Only if he or she is given that freedom in the will itself (unlikely) or if a court grants them that power.
Any court orders relevant to the will must be followed to the letter. Therefore, it is important for heirs to know what is in the will.
It also comes back to accountability. Call it appointing yourself the "armchair executor" if you want, but it can be necessary if you believe the executor to be dishonest or incompetent.
4. Link Executor to a Conflict of Interest
The role of executor of a will is to keep "self" out of it. The author of the will needs them to be an unbiased, impartial observer.
That's not possible if they hold conflicts of interest. It's especially not possible when those conflicts of interest could favor other heirs named in the will. If any of these situations exist, reach out to an attorney to see what your options are. A Estate Planning attorney or a Probate Lawyer can help.
5. Point Out Poor Accounting Measures
Another of the powers of will executor is to bring fiscal responsibility to the administration of the will. We've discussed occasions where the individual might be making inappropriate expenses, but what about situations that are not malicious?
Those can be harmful to the execution of the will, sometimes more damaging than anything else. Make sure the executor is educated enough to be up to administering the will. Do this by demanding a regular accounting of assets and any interest income associated with the will.
The Will Executor Is Not Set in Stone
A will executor or personal representative for the probate has won a vote of confidence from the departed. But the departed does not have the benefit of ensuring that his or her wishes are carried out appropriately. The beneficiaries of an estate can help to make sure the wishes are being followed.
That's where it behooves you to educate yourself on the will and the laws surrounding executorships. Do you have concerns about the administration of a will? Contact the team at Citadel Law Firm today if you are in Arizona. You can call us at (480)565-8020 or click here to schedule your free consultation.