What to do if the administrator of my deceased father’s estate is grossly mishandling funds?

She has used money from the estate to pay on a mortgage loan with both her name and my late father’s name on it and her and her lawyer are claiming that the estate must pay off this loan. She has also not sold personal property that is depreciating in value and costing the estate money via taxes, insurance and even huge fines from the county. What is our best course of action to handle this?

Asked on April 7, 2014 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that you are a "party in interest"--that is, that you stand to inherit, and believe that she is wasting assets that will, at least in part, come to you--then you could bring a legal action in chancery or probate court to challenge her administration of the estate and seek a court order either reversing some of her actions and/or removing her from the role. Chancery proceedings can be complicated--you are advised to retain an attorney to help you.

Note that the estate is generally supposed to pay off debts of the deceased, even if there is a co-signor on those, so paying off the mortgage may be proper.


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