When people are in a position of power or authority, they often have the duty to act in the best interests of those around them. This type of fiduciary duty is created in certain relationships, including between an executor and the beneficiaries and heirs of an estate. If someone believes that an executor has mishandled an estate, that fiduciary duty may have been breached.
Because an executor is in a position of trust, he or she has a legal obligation to act honestly and in the best interests of the beneficiaries of the Georgia estate. This can mean that the executor does not withhold information regarding probate, does not use estate funds for personal affairs and does not unnecessarily delay the legal proceedings associated with closing the estate, for example. The executor is expected to handle the estate’s remaining assets in an appropriate manner.
Of course, some executors, and others in a fiduciary relationship, may not abide by their duty. As a result, beneficiaries could find the estate diminished due to the executor misappropriating funds or taking other action that negatively affected the estate or beneficiaries. In such cases, the beneficiaries can hold the executor responsible for the breach of duty.
Taking legal action during probate can seem overwhelming, but it may be necessary in some cases if an executor has mishandled an estate. If Georgia residents have concerns about how the executor of an estate is behaving, they may wish to discuss those concerns with legal professionals. Attorneys experienced in handling litigation involving breaches of fiduciary duty during probate may be able to help determine the best way to handle any issues.