Is there law that prevents abuse/misuse of the power of an executor?

I believe that the executor, a lawyer, knowledge about the law, used his knowledge of the law to overcompensate himself in that role on a simple estate. The estate has not cleared probate. He is accumulated bills that total more than I make in a year working full-time. He seems to have turn a simple estate into a project. He specifically denied the heirs access to his billing charges until just before he was prepared to close the estate. I feel he used his knowledge of the law to “abuse the system.” The amount he claims is within the 10% IL allows, but it is 3% in most states.

Asked on July 29, 2010 under Estate Planning, Illinois


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Every state has laws regarding an executor's use and misuse of their fiduciary powers.  In addition, attorneys in most states are held to a higher standard of care and misuse of fiduciary power can often result in disbarment.  It appears that your state allows a significant amount in fees. Plus is he acting as both executor and attorney for probate? But generally a party can not charge more than is "reasonable and customary" as well as warranted under the circumstances.  Executors are also generally covered by a bond that insures you, really, against abuse.  You have a pocket to go after.  If there is no bond then they can be held personally liable.

What you are going to ahve to do is to bring in another attorney to review the file and the charges and tell you if you can indeed file against the executor here.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.