what an Executor can
and cannot do

1-888-318-4430

What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do

What An Executor Cannot Do

What an Executor (or Executrix) cannot do? As an Executor, what you cannot do is go against the terms of the Will, Breach Fiduciary duty, fail to act, self-deal, embezzle, intentionally or unintentionally through neglect harm the estate, and cannot do threats to beneficiaries and heirs.

The most important thing that an executor cannot do is the following: Not stay transparent with the beneficiaries and heirs. It is also imperative of proper bookkeeping, staying on top of things that may call for buying or selling of an asset. 

The trust documents can have an option to adjust the assets from one beneficiary to another slightly. The Trustor/Grantor, in making the trust, explicitly states they can do so. If a beneficiary contests the trust, a caveat is by challenging the trust, and you lose in the courts, a no-contest clause could block you from receiving any trust distribution. Have an expert trust litigator guide you. Review a minimum of two attorneys to help you through the trust administration process.

Can the Executor of a will take everything

 

HESS-VERDON IS YOUR #1 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TRUST & ESTATE LAW FIRM

(DEEP BENCH COURT TIME)

What an Executor Cannot Do

There are many discussions about whether an Executor of an estate has the power to sell specific properties, sell to themselves, etc., so in short, the Executor of a will cannot self-deal and sell the estate assets below market value. If an Executor does not perform due diligence, it may be construed as self-dealing and against the fiduciary duty of an Executor role. If its found self-dealing has taken place, the beneficiaries can evict the Executor and open the opportunity to go after the Executor civilly. 

With that said, let’s go over the roles within probate to make sense of what an executor can and cannot due as an executor. 

What is an Executor?

An executor (or executrix) is a man or woman or even an institution appointed by a Testator to carry out the terms of the Will and Last Testament. The Executor is responsible for all the assets in the Will.

Can the Executor of a Will Take Everything?

First thing, the Executor has legal duties regarding the estate. An Executor who is found stealing can be found in contempt of the probate court. Contempt of court carries not only fines but also a jail sentence. Therefore, can an executor of a Will take everything? Yes, if they want to be underhanded, so that is why there are measures the beneficiaries can take to circumvent this possibility.  

What Can Beneficiaries Do to Protect Their Rights?

An Executor is legally liable to the estate beneficiaries to keep proper bookkeeping so that if the courts demand an accounting, the Executor can show an inventory list. The inventory list will explain everything that has been done so far, including supporting evidence, receipts, and cashed checks. 

When you find out you will be receiving an inheritance, you have the right to know its status.  

Expect the following from the Executor

  1. The Executor begins by communicating their position to the beneficiaries, financial institutions, and any known creditors.
  2. They assist in any funeral arrangements, etc.
  3. They open trust bank accounts to manage all the Testator’s finances.
  4. Get multiple copies of the death certificate to present to all the creditors and banking institutions.
  5. Set up an initial meeting with beneficiaries.

Now, at this time, communication is crucial. The Executor will not have to explain every step they are completing on a day-to-day basis but should update periodically. Best to establish the communication method upfront first, so that no one is caught off guard during this lengthy process.

Have Your Case Reviewed Today by a Hess-Verdon Attorney
Call 1-888-318-4430

Trustee Removal

Are you a Trustee or Beneficiary where protection of the Trustors wishes are being challenged and causing family disputes?

Develop strategies on preempting a Trust dispute and discover What You Need to Know About the Trustee Removal Process

Hess Verdon has a deep bench and knows both sides of the equation to remove or suspend a Trustee or to safeguard the Trustee from a frivolous legal process. Hess-Verdon top litigators will help you stay on track!

 

Contact Us Green Ultimate Guide: What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do!

 or Call Now

(949) 706-7300

Beneficiary is attacking me

Attacked by a beneficiary who objects to how you, a Trustee, or Administrator, is handling an estate?

Prevent Trustees from Making Some Common Mistakes. 

Duties | Delays | Choices | Distributions

Timing on each one is critical to avoid litigation

Hess-Verdon has over 30 years of dealing with Beneficiary and trustee disputes. Let us review your situation. You’ll be glad you did. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

Contact Us Green Ultimate Guide: What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do!

 or Call Now

(949) 706-7300

Contesting a Trust

 Are You Considering Contesting a Trust or the most recent amendment? Was there a capacity issue or undue influence?

Be Careful when contesting a trust and know the elements it takes to protect the trust assets. Reserve your rights before Statute of limitations happen!

Hess-Verdon works hard to resolve Trust and Estate issues and preserve the estate by minimizing costly litigation. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

 

Contact Us Green Ultimate Guide: What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do!

 or Call Now

(949) 706-7300

Hess-Verdon Team of attorneys

See our Successful Reviews!

stars 5 Ultimate Guide: What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do!

“I have been working with this firm since 1994; you can’t beat a firm like this, that is so ethical and competent.”

Dixie Fisher

Client Since 1994

stars 5 Ultimate Guide: What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do!

“We’ve always felt comfortable sharing our concerns with Hess-Verdon & Associates and have felt confident that the job was well done and the concerns answered.”

Malou Cole

Client Since 2006

You found the right team. See our Successful Reviews!

Hess-Verdon & Associates will Guide You through the Trust Litigation Process!

Take away: Even if an executor, in good faith, attempts to sell a property within the estate, and it does not go as planned, a beneficiary can’t merely say they were acting in a nonfiduciary capacity. Court’s will refuse to remove an executor when good-faith is taken on behalf of the estate. 

While the Executor work on behalf of the beneficiaries, there are reasons why some judges will remove the Executor.

  1. Infighting between Executor and Co-Executors
  2. Failure to comply with the terms of the Will
  3. Non-Cooperation with creditors and Beneficiaries.
  4. No follow-through, i.e., neglecting or mishandling estate assets.
  5. Self-dealing
  6. Abuse of Discretion
  7. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  8. Failure to Act
  9. Undue Influence
  10. Conflict of Interest

And there are more reasons. The bottom line is that if an Executor is confronted with a judgment call, they should seek legal counsel. When seeking legal counsel, it establishes a precedent that its solely not the opinion of the Executor, but via legal counsel that the decision was made.

What Does an Executor of a Will do?

Well, first and foremost, the Executor, as long as they are living up to their Fiduciary duty, keeping proper bookkeeping and showing faithfulness to the rights of the beneficiaries will be hard-pressed to prove a breach of fiduciary duty. The Executor can override a Beneficiary in most instances as well as be a beneficiary. You see, the appointment as the Executor by the Testator, i.e., creator of the Will, is an honor. The Executor has much latitude to manage the estate to do the following:

  • Determine all assets and protect them from being sold out of probate.
  • Pay off all creditors and taxes
  • Distribute funds to Heirs and Beneficiaries.

Now, you may be jaded if the Executor, after receiving all the information from beneficiaries, etc., still commences with a judgment call. An Executor can override a Beneficiary should they see it necessary to abide by the wishes of the Testator and the legal aspects of the state.

What an Executor Cannot Do

  1. Not locate the Will
  2. To be careless and allow the assets in the Will to disappear.
  3. Not manage the creditors and not pay taxes.
  4. Sell assets way below fair market value and can be shown self-dealing.
  5. Mismanage Real Estate: Selling a property without completing their due diligence, e.g., getting an appraisal and possibly multiple offers.
  6. Co-mingling: Mixing the Executor monies with the estate. 

What cannot an Executor do? Go against the wishes of the Testator, not seek counsel, and not communicate with Beneficiaries, i.e., allowing for Beneficiary rights to Trust Information.

Have Your Case Reviewed Today by a Hess-Verdon Attorney
Call 1-888-318-4430

Why Consider hiring Hess-Verdon Trust & Estate Attorneys

We work efficiently to help individuals, families, fiduciaries, organization with the following:

  • Trustees
  • Beneficiaries
  • Individuals and families
  • Banks
  • Trust Companies
  • Charitable entities
  • Family Offices
  • Corporate Fiduciaries
  • Corporate Trustees
  • Business Owners

Here at Hess-Verdon, we counsel clients on various aspects of estate disputes. Such as investigating potential claims, evaluating the merits of bringing a claim, filing or defending a claim, and when necessary litigating a claim through trial or settlement.

With our expert team of trust litigators, in many instances, we can settle such proceedings without going to trial after taking into account the merits of the positions advanced by the respective parties and the tax rules applicable.  

Rest assured, the Hess-Verdon team is here to help you. Unlike some other law firms, we are a full-service firm. Handling thousands of probate and trust litigation cases helps us know exactly steps are crucial for your case.

Visit us in Fashion Island in Newport Beach. If you believe you need a team of attorneys, paralegals, and helpful, caring staff, then Hess-Verdon is ready to assist.

Schedule an appointment today. Our specialized team is ready to assist you.

Call 1-888-318-4430

My Family is Suing me

Are you being sued by a family member over a Trust or Will?

From threats to harassment to emotional distress, many people’s knee-jerk reaction is to sue and has become increasingly common. 

There are many options to resolve a family dispute in court and out of court. 

With over 30 years, Hess-Verdon has handled Trust and Estate Lawsuits and dealing with family dynamics. Do not panic; Hess-Verdon is ready to help you today.

Contact Us Green Ultimate Guide: What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do!

 or Call Now

(949) 706-7300

We are here to help!

Emotions Can Run High in Disputes Between Family Members, Especially in Matters Involving Money.

Need a Second Opinion?

Are you feeling your attorney is not answering your questions? 

Up against a deadline | Going over Budget | Case Taking too Long 

These are just a few reasons why you need a second opinion.

Hess-Verdon has a deep bench experience and works with the courts. If you have questions that your attorney is not answering, or the litigation has taken unexpected twists and turns, Hess-Verdon has handled Trust and Estate Lawsuits for over 30 years. Do not panic; Hess-Verdon is ready to help you today.

 

Contact Us Green Ultimate Guide: What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do!

 or Call Now

(949) 706-7300

You found the right team. See our Successful Reviews!

stars 5 Ultimate Guide: What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do!

Truly exceptional law firm! They provided concise, decisive legal assistance during unanticipated events during estate proceedings. They made a bad situation better. Our family will always be grateful. There is no one I would rather have than Hess-Verdon & Associates representing my family.

Wade Shannon

Client Since 2014

stars 5 Ultimate Guide: What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do!

“Definitely a firm that will “fight to the finish.”

Frances Gruben

Client Since 2010

stars 5 Ultimate Guide: What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do!

“Outstanding expertise and client support”

Suzanne Casey

Client Since 2018

stars 5 Ultimate Guide: What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do!

“Hess-Verdon is very professional and knowledgeable on corporate law, that can help with estate planning matters.”

Roy Trachsel

Client Since 1995

Get In Touch

Our Trust Litigation Attorneys Fight to Protect Your Inheritance.

 

stars 5 Ultimate Guide: What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do!

Truly exceptional law firm! They provided concise, decisive legal assistance during unanticipated events during estate proceedings. They made a bad situation better. Our family will always be grateful. There is no one I would rather have than Hess-Verdon & Associates representing my family.

Wade Shannon

Client Since 2014

stars 5 Ultimate Guide: What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do!

“Definitely a firm that will “fight to the finish.”

Frances Gruben

Client Since 2010

Call 1-888-318-4430 or Contact Us Below

After filling out the form, it will be immediately received by our firm.  We will call you very shortly!

grate Ultimate Guide: What an Executor of an Estate Cannot Do!