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How executors can act improperly with estates

New York residents who have wills likely appointed an executor whose job is to make sure the testator's wishes are carried out. This typically involves managing an estate until the testator's assets and property can be divided among beneficiaries, but there are instances when a beneficiary must take action if an executor is not properly administering an estate.

An executor will likely have a range of tasks to complete after the death of the testator. When an executor does something wrong, this might diminish the value of an estate and delay the settlement process. One might have problems with an executor if he or she fails to act in a timely manner. This is because some assets must be taken care of initially like homes and automobiles to avoid future costs. Houses have property taxes and utilities that must be paid, and auto and car insurance policies must be updated and transferred.

Making any payments for an estate is especially important as interest and penalties may accumulate when not paying promptly. Other issues may arise if misconduct occurs when an executor misappropriates estate assets, refuses to account for assets, does not make distributions or does not properly handle the probate process. If improper estate administration takes place, court proceedings to correct or remove the executor may be necessary.

Selecting the right executor to manage and distribute one's belongings is an important part of estate planning, but not everyone is suited for this type of a responsibility. Those who have been so appointed should realize that the guidance of an estate administration attorney can often be helpful.

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