What are an executor’s rights if they have been accused of mishandling an estate?

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What are an executor’s rights if they have been accused of mishandling an estate?

My mother passed away and when I, the executor, presented her lack of assets, my 3 siblings questioned where the money went. My brother-in-law made up a paper for them to sign, which my 2 sisters did. It stated that they were not satisfied with my accounting of the estate. Also, now that I have that signed paper, how much time do I have to find all receipts and expenses to present to them?

Asked on June 19, 2011 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Okay, listen: you need to get legal help with all of this. You as the fiduciary of the estate can be held personally liable for any mis-accounting or even for an error that was just an innocent mistake if your siblings choose to make your life miserable.  You should never have signed a thing.  Yes, you need to gather all of the bills and receipts and to list them as specifics in the accounting.  And if your siblings get really testy it may be a good idea for you to have one other them act as the co-executor of the estate - officially  please - so that no one can point at you directly.  Good luck.


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