What can be don if an executor is not performing their duties?

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What can be don if an executor is not performing their duties?

My father passed 9 months ago. My brother was named executor of the estate. He is very hostile to all other brothers/heirs.He has not performed as an executor is required to do. For example, he sold a vehicle at wholesale rather than fair market value. He also failed to recognize other property owned by my father as well, and denies its existence, even though it is common knowledge. Much of this has sentimental value. What should the heirs next step be?

Asked on July 6, 2016 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It appears that there might be a breach of "fiduciary duty" by your brother in his capacity as executor. This duty is implied when someone is put in a position of trust to benefit others, such as that between an executor and beneficiaries of a Will (or a Personal Representative and heirs if there is no Will). An executor owes a duty to exercise their obligations in accordance with the terms of the Will (or state intestacy law) under which they were appointed. Accordingly, an executor (or PR) must at all times exercise good faith and put their interests second to the interests of the beneficiaries (heirs) and/or estate.      
Based on the facts presented that your brother may have committed fraud, negligence, and/or other misconduct. You can challenge his role as executor and have him removed for breach of his fiduciary duty. Additionally, you will then need to have someone else appointed who can challenge any transactions that may have been made which were not in the best interests of the estate. At this point, you can contact the probate court in question and/or consult directly with a probate attorney on all of this. For more information, you can check the following links:
https://law.freeadvice.com/estate_planning/wills/removing-executor-of-will.htm
https://law.freeadvice.com/estate_planning/trusts/breach-fiduciary-duty-remedies.htm


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