What recourse is there if the executor of a Will does not distribute funds as stipulated?

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What recourse is there if the executor of a Will does not distribute funds as stipulated?

Asked on January 19, 2014 under Estate Planning, New Mexico

Answers:

Gregory Abbott / Consumer Law Northwest

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

This all depends upon what you mean...IF there is a probate action filed in court and the executor does not distribute property according to the terms of the Will and pursuant to court order, the judge needs to be told and all sorts of nasty things can happen to the executor.  IF what you really mean instead is that someone is nominated to be the executor in the Will but no probate action has actually been filed in court, then your recourse is to file a  probate action.  Only the court can appoint an executor of the estate and until they do, no one, whether they are named in the Will or not, has any legal authority to either gather or distribute ANY of the deceased's property that is part of the probate estate.  Understand that most, but not all, of a person's property is subject to probate and distribution by an executor.  Things like life insurance and/or pension plan payoffs, joint bank accounts etc. may not be.  Questions? Talk with a local probate attorney.


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