What can we, as beneficiaries, do if my aunt passed away earlier this year and we think that the executor may not be able to properly handle the administration of the estate?

I have not seen the Will, but was told that she left 100% of her estate to her friend/neighbor, but with instructions on how she would like her estate to be divided among the rest of her small family. Her friend and neighbor has been working as the executor, and is working to get family members their portion of the estate. She is doing her best, but there has been no oversight, and I am worried about possible negligence/ignorance. Is this type of Will common? Should we be aware of any tax implications of receiving assets from the estate if we are not named beneficiaries?

Asked on November 19, 2015 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you are a beneficiary under a Will you have a right to see all documents pertaining to the estate.  In a case such as yours in which negligence rather than intentional malfeasance may be involved, you can request that a "supervised administration" be implemented. This is where the probate court takes a more active role in overseeing the administration of the estate. You can file a motion (typically using the services of an attorney), requesting such an administration. 

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