Have you ever asked yourself the question, “The PR of an estate isn’t doing their job; what do I do?” If you have, you may feel desperate, alone, or at the end of your rope. If your personal representative or estate administrator isn’t fulfilling their fiduciary duty, you could fall behind on payments and debts as you wait for your inheritance. Fortunately, you do have options if your executor isn’t keeping up with their job. We’ll go over some of them below.
Before you seek legal action against your executor, it’s always a good idea to know the ins and outs of your estate. Depending on the estate’s limitations and what the court decides, you could wait to receive your inheritance for months or years.
If the executor doesn’t pay outstanding debts and file tax returns for the estate before distributing inheritances, they could be held personally liable. It may not be the executor’s fault that you haven’t received your payment yet if creditors or the IRS delays the process of making these payments.
Talk To Your Executor
Having a respectful talk with your executor is always a good idea before turning to the courts. If you’ve tried peaceful remediation with your executor already, you may have a stronger case to present if or when you do turn to a probate court.
As a general rule, a court won’t remove an executor without seeing a serious reason to act. If the executor has been inattentive, that alone may not be a strong enough reason in the court’s eyes.
If you can show the court that the executor falls into any of the following categories, you strengthen your case:
They’ve neglected their duties by taking no action or ignoring the wishes of the deceased
They have a conflict of interest
They’ve wasted assets or illegally stolen from the estate
They’ve been convicted of a felony since becoming executor
If all else fails and you must take legal action, it’s up to you and the courts to set things right. You have two options:
Petition the court
File a civil suit
A court petition may be a good option if you have proof that the executor has been neglecting their duties. The court will hold a hearing and allow both you and the executor to present a case. If the court finds that there is enough evidence to replace the executor, they will do so.
Filing a civil lawsuit may be a better option if you can show that the executor’s actions (or inaction) have negatively impacted you. If their misuse or irresponsible distribution of funds has caused financial impact or burden, providing evidence to the court helps your case. With this method, you may be able to reach a mutual settlement before things move to the courtroom itself.
While the Colorado Bar Association has some more helpful information about the duties of personal representatives here, the best way to navigate these responsibilities can be with the help of an experienced Denver probate and estate lawyer.
Get Exceptional Representation in Colorado Probate & Guardianship
Whether you are a personal representative, a beneficiary, or another party to a probate case, you can turn to a Denver probate and estate lawyer at Evans Case, LLP for superior representation and client-focused counsel. With more than a century of combined experience, our team is highly skilled at guiding clients through every phase of probate, no matter how complex or contentious a case may be.
Call (303) 757-8300 or contact us online for a free 30-minute consultation and important answers about Denver probate.
As a full-service Denver estate planning and probate law firm, Evans Case is home to 5-star attorneys who have deep knowledge of the law and the most effective strategies for helping our clients achieve their objectives. Let us tell you more about how we can help you with Colorado probate during a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.