Can the information contained in a background check be used against someone in a legal action?

I am considering contesting the appointment of an executor on the grounds of his being unsuitable. I already know he is under investigation for Social Security fraud, was arrested (but not convicted) for DUI, disorderly conduct (convicted – fighting) and has a financial judgment against him.

Asked on July 26, 2010 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally an issue arises after the appointment of an executor as to the discharge of their duties - or their failure to carry out the required duties - and the heirs, and then they want to have the executor removed.  But here your concern is that the executor's prior "bad acts" will have an effect on their carrying out their duties under their appointment.  That might not be enough to object here.  Even though his prior actions are cause for alarm, it is unclear that a court would stop him from being appointed because of it.  The courts defer to the wishes of the testator and unless you can show that he unduly influenced the testator or some other reason that may give rise to a will contest itself, you may just have to watch him like a hawk.  Seek legal advise in your area.  Good luck.


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