What Happens if an Executor Isn’t Communicating With Beneficiaries?

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One of the most important things an individual can do during their lifetime is create a comprehensive estate plan that protects their hard-earned assets and legacy. When an individual dies with a will in Maryland, it generally passes through the court-supervised probate process. During this process, the court will authenticate the will and formally appoint the executor of the estate. An executor is responsible not only for managing estate assets but also for making importnat estate-related decisions. As such, they are the primary source of information for beneficiaries and heirs. If communication is lacking, the estate’s beneficiaries are entitled to seek court interventions to ensure the estate is managed according to the decedent’s wishes and their rights are protected. Please continue reading to learn what could happen if an executor fails to communicate with beneficiaries and how a dedicated Montgomery County Will Drafting Attorney can help you today. 

Is an Executor Required to Communicate With Beneficiaries?

Executors or personal representatives play a vital role in the administration of an estate. They have a fiduciary duty to inform beneficiaries about estate proceedings and decisions. An executor is responsible for keeping beneficiaries reasonably informed about the administration of the estate. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean they have to communicate every decision or action they make. Beneficiaries must be given enough information to understand the estate’s assets, debts, and property distribution. An executor must exercise reasonable care and act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. If an executor fails to notify a beneficiary about the decedent’s will or maintain transparency, the beneficiaries may contest the will.

Can the Probate Court Remove an Executor?

Beneficiaries and heirs are afforded certain legal rights. Therefore, if they remain uninformed about a decedent’s will, they can challenge its validity. In addition, if an executor’s failure to cooperate is impeding administration or harming the estate, beneficiaries can utilize harsher remedies such as suspension, removal, or surcharges to protect their interests and enforce their rights. There are several reasons why an executor may lack communication, such as being unaware of their duty to keep beneficiaries informed or engaging in misconduct. If an executor attempts to withhold information, it can lead to irreversible harm to the estate. Therefore, if a beneficiary suspects an executor is engaging in misconduct, they must report it to the court. The beneficiaries must provide the court with substantial evidence of wrongdoing or incompetence to have an executor removed.

If you are looking to contest a will as a beneficiary, please don’t hesitate to contact an adept attorney from the legal team at JD Katz, who can help you protect your rights and interests.