What to do if the Executor of my father’s estate has been mishandling funds?

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What to do if the Executor of my father’s estate has been mishandling funds?

I am taking him to court. Can I ask for him to pay my legal fees if I win?

Asked on June 5, 2013 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you win your lawsuit against the Executor of your father's estate, you can recover attorney's fees.

Your lawsuit against the Executor on behalf of the estate should be for conversion.  Conversion is a civil case (lawsuit) for theft.  Damages (monetary compensation in a lawsuit for conversion) would be forced sale (recovering the funds that were mishandled or if those funds were used to purchase other items, tracing the funds to those items and recovering those items or their value).

If damages are an inadequate remedy, you can seek the equitable remedy of a constructive trust.  A constructive trust imposed on the Executor would require the Executor to return the funds and other items taken, to the estate.


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