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Rights of Estate Beneficiaries

What Can You Do to Protect Your Inheritance?

The executor of the estate owes the beneficiaries of that estate transparency from start to finish. This means that the executor has to first locate and notify all of the heirs that they are named in the will and give them a copy of that will. The executor must also give the heirs an inventory of all of the assets of the estate so that the heirs have a good understanding of what the estate encompasses and what he or she may be entitled to. Beneficiaries, at their request, are also entitled to a full accounting by the executor as to how assets from the estate are being spent and distributed so that they understand what the status of the estate is.

The executor has a duty to distribute the estate in a timely manner. It is the right of the beneficiary not to have the executor do nothing for long periods of time on the estate.

If beneficiaries are unsure whether or not the executor is doing what they are supposed to do, they can call a Westchester estate attorney, who will usually be happy to explain what the executor should be doing and what the timeframes should be. If the executor is not in fact acting in a timely or honest manner, there are many options that are available including having the court force the executor do something that they are not doing, such as not distributing available property or releasing an accounting. You may also be able to have the executor released from his or her duties and replaced.

Hiring a Westchester estate attorney is a great idea even if you do not currently have an issue with an executor. We can help keep an eye on the executor for you and make sure that they do their duty, such as paying creditors, giving proper accountings to you and making sure all of the transactions are legitimate. We can also keep an eye on the executor when you have a suspicion that he or she may not be acting in the best interest of the beneficiaries or is engaging in dealings that really only benefit themselves. Finally, we can help to make sure that an estate does not just linger for years without anything being done to get you the inheritance that you were given.

Not every estate has problems when it is probated, but when you suspect that there may be issues, it is best to have a Westchester County, New York estate attorney on your side. If you’d like to speak with Albert Gurevich, Esq., give us a call at (914) 293-2043.