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Signs an executor is not managing an estate correctly

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2024 | Probate litigation

An executor is responsible for managing and distributing the assets of an estate according to the decedent’s will and Texas state law. 

However, executors do not always fulfill their duties properly. Recognizing the signs of mismanagement can help beneficiaries to take action to protect their interests.

1. Delayed administration

One of the first signs an executor does not manage an estate correctly is significant delays in the administration process. Unexplained or prolonged delays in paying debts, or distributing assets can indicate mismanagement or negligence.

2. Lack of communication

An executor must keep beneficiaries informed about the status of the estate. A lack of communication, refusal to provide updates, or failure to share important documents can be a sign of mismanagement. 

3. Inadequate record keeping

Proper record-keeping can help in the transparent management of an estate. An executor should maintain detailed records of all transactions, including receipts, disbursements, and asset valuations. 

If an executor cannot produce accurate records or financial statements, it may indicate misappropriation of assets.

4. Conflicts of interest

Executors need to act in the best interest of the estate and its beneficiaries. If an executor appears to be engaging in self-dealing or has conflicts of interest, this can be a sign of mismanagement.

5. Legal and financial irregularities

Beneficiaries should be alert to any legal or financial irregularities. This can include failure to pay taxes, unpaid creditors, or legal disputes arising from the executor’s actions. Such issues can deplete the estate’s value and delay the distribution process.

Recognizing the signs of an executor not managing an estate correctly can help beneficiaries in Texas. Beneficiaries who suspect mismanagement should seek legal advice to protect their interests and ensure the proper administration of the estate.