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Probate litigation may be warranted if executor breaches duty

Settling a recently-deceased person's estate is a complicated affair. The executor plays the biggest role in handling the necessary obligations associated with probate, and because of this, many heirs or beneficiaries may feel out of the loop. However, they may notice that the executor has not acted properly and could feel that probate litigation is necessary.

New York residents may worry about this type of situation and may also wonder when legal action may be appropriate. If an executor breaches his or her fiduciary duty to the estate or beneficiaries, filing a claim may be warranted. Breaches of duty may include the executor using estate funds for personal reasons, making unsafe investments on behalf of the estate, paying him or herself an unreasonable amount for acting as executor, or failing to follow the instructions in the will.

If beneficiaries believe that a serious breach has occurred, filing a civil claim may help address the situation. The person filing has the responsibility of proving that the executor did have a fiduciary duty and that the estate and beneficiaries were financially harmed due to his or her actions. It is also important to remember that a statute of limitations does exist on filing such claims.

While loved ones certainly want to put their trust in the executors, it is not uncommon for some parties to abuse their power and act unscrupulously. If this happens, New York beneficiaries may have reason to take legal action. Speaking with experienced attorneys may give concerned parties a better idea as to whether probate litigation could suit their particular cases.

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