What can be done if an executor is not fulfilling their duties?

There are 3 adult brothers who are beneficiaries and 1 is the executor. The executor has been living in 1 of the properties of my deceased father but refuses to put it up for sale thus delaying distribution. What can we do to move this process along? He also said he would list the house next year.

Asked on February 7, 2016 under Estate Planning, Florida


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The executor can be sued for breach of their fiduciary duty. In such a lawsuit, the estate could seek damages in the amount of any misappropriated funds and/or assets, plus interest. Additionally, the Will may contain provisions for specific remedies in the event the executor breaches their fiduciary duty. If found in breach, the probate court will remove the executor and appoint a new one (the Will may name a designated successor executor if the current executor can't serve). The new executor can ask for an accounting of the estate and challenge the transfers and transactions already made and have the funds returned. If the original executor is bonded (insured) you may also be able to go after the insurance money to recoup losses.  

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