Can Beneficiaries Override An Executor?
After someone dies, the person named in the Will as executor is responsible for administering the decedent’s estate. The duties of an executor include, among many others, identifying and collecting estate assets, safeguarding the assets, paying debts, filing appropriate tax returns, and distributing assets to beneficiaries in accordance with the Will. Over the course of estate administration, it is common for disagreements to arise between executors and beneficiaries. If you are the beneficiary in a decedent’s Will, you might be wondering what happens when there is a disagreement between beneficiaries and executors. Specifically, you might be asking yourself, “Can beneficiaries override an executor?” We answer this question below.
Can Beneficiaries Override an Executor?
Executors have a legal obligation to act in the estate’s best interest and follow the terms stated in the Will. So, if a beneficiary’s wishes go against the terms of the Will, an executor is legally allowed to override those wishes. An executor is legally allowed to override a beneficiary if they are following a court order.
But can a beneficiary override an executor? It depends. A beneficiary can override an executor if the executor fails to follow the terms of the Will. Beneficiaries can override an executor if the executor breaches their fiduciary duty. A beneficiary who simply disagrees with an executor or does not like the executor’s decisions cannot override the executor.
If a beneficiary believes that an executor is not following the terms of the Will, they can file a petition with the court asking the judge to appoint another executor. If you are a beneficiary and suspect that the executor of your deceased loved one’s estate is not following the terms of the Will, you should reach out to a probate attorney. An attorney can help you file a petition with the court asking the judge to appoint another executor. A probate attorney can help prevent the executor from causing too much harm.
Can the Court Change the Executor of an Estate?
If you are a beneficiary and believe the executor of your loved one’s estate is not following the terms of the Will, you might be wondering whether there is any chance of the executor being changed. So, can the executor of an estate be changed? Yes, in California, the law allows an executor of an estate to be removed from office in certain situations. According to the law, an executor of an estate may be removed for, among others, the following reasons;
- Wastage, embezzlement, and mismanagement
- Committing fraud on the estate
- Wrongfully neglecting the estate
- Being incapable of properly executing their duties
After you ask the court to remove the executor, an investigation will be conducted to determine whether the executor should be removed.
Contact a California Probate Lawyer
If you are a beneficiary and believe the executor of your loved one’s estate is not following the terms of the Will, contact the dedicated California probate attorney, Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy- today to schedule a telephonic consultation.