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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 11 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.


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