This is the next post in our series on Hartford, Connecticut probate executors who fail in their duties. Our last article discussed taking action when an executor has breached their fiduciary duty. It is often best to reach an agreement with the executor, in which they agree to step down, as opposed to engaging in litigation. Sometimes, however, litigation is necessary. An experienced attorney will be able to advise you as to the best course of action. In this article we will be discussing the possible remedies which heirs may have against an executor. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
The Connecticut Probate Court can remove the Executor or Administrator, void their actions, and require that they reimburse the estate
The remedies which the Court will make available to heirs will always depend on the specifics of the situation. It is important to understand that the Court will not always remove the executor. If the Judge finds that removing the executor would unnecessarily delay the probate, and that they can be expected to conduct themselves properly, then they might remain in place. Allowing an executor to remain in place will typically be reserved for matters in which the individual has simply been negligent. Courts will quickly remove executors who are acting unethically or committing some form of financial wrong. Depending on the nature of the offense, the executor’s actions may be unwound or they may be required to reimburse the estate.
Consider the following example. Joe Executor sells assets of the estate for well below their market value. This is due to Joe simply being ignorant as to their pricing and a failure to retain professionals who could assist with the liquidation. The individual who purchased the assets was a disinterested third-party who made the deal through a good-faith arms-length transaction. Under this scenario, the executor would likely have to reimburse the estate for its losses but the Court would not necessarily remove Joe as Executor. Now suppose that, instead, Joe had sold assets below market value to a business which he, himself, controlled. Under this scenario the Court may very well order the assets transferred back into the estate as they are still under the control of the executor. Again, how the Court will rule will always depend on the facts of the matter.
Hartford heirs should take immediate action if they believe the executor or administrator is acting inappropriately
If you are an heir in a Hartford probate then it is important to immediately protect your interests against a poor executor. The longer you wait to assert your rights the more difficult it may be to reverse any actions they have taken. Moreover, the longer you wait to take action then the greater the possibility that the Court will inquire as to why you did not raise the issue sooner. Consulting with an attorney immediately is the best way to ensure that you are protecting the rights of both yourself and the estate.
If you are in need of assistance, then contact our office today to speak with a Hartford probate lawyer. Our firm has been serving the area for decades and we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service. We understand that this is a serious time in your life and we will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. We also service the Connecticut areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, East and West Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.