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What it takes to sue an executor in California

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2022 | Estate Adminstration |

When someone dies, their estate goes through a legal process known as probate. The executor is an important part of this process and is responsible for carrying out the deceased’s wishes.

However, sometimes the executor doesn’t do their job properly. If you think your executor has mishandled an estate, you may be able to sue them.

Who is the executor?

The executor is the person responsible for carrying out the deceased’s wishes. For one, they’re in charge of distributing the estate’s assets. They do so by following the instructions set forth in the will. If there is no will, they’ll follow state intestacy laws.

The executor is also responsible for paying the estate’s debts and taxes. They must do this before distributing any assets to beneficiaries. Lastly, the executor must deal with any estate litigation that may come up. This includes handling any lawsuits that are filed against the estate.

When can you sue the executor?

There are a few different reasons why you might want to sue your executor. One reason is if they’ve mishandled estate funds. This could include using estate funds for their own personal gain or failing to pay estate debts and taxes.

Another reason to sue an executor is if they’ve failed to properly carry out the deceased’s wishes. For example, if they’ve distributed assets in a way that doesn’t match the instructions set forth in the will. Lastly, you may want to sue an executor if they’ve been unfair or unreasonable during the estate administration process.

How do you sue the executor?

If you want to sue your executor, you’ll need to file a lawsuit in a civil court. You’ll need to state your reasons for suing and what damages you’re seeking. While determining this estate litigation case, the court will look at the executor’s actions and see if they were indeed negligent.

When filing your lawsuit, you’ll need to decide if you want to sue the executor personally or professionally. If you sue them professionally, they may be able to use estate assets to pay any damages that are awarded.

If you sue them personally, they’ll have to use their own money to pay damages. This is usually only done in cases of severe misconduct.

Suing your executor is a serious matter. You should only do so if you have a valid reason and you’re prepared to see the case through to the end.