Upon death, a person leaves behind an estate consisting of property and assets that he or she owned at the time of death. Some assets may pass directly to beneficiaries without going through the probate process; for example, an insurance policy or a retirement account may pass directly to the named beneficiaries, or a house or bank account held jointly with right of survivorship may pass directly to the joint owner. These types of assets are known as “non-probate assets.” All assets that do not pass directly to named beneficiaries or properly titled joint owners comprise the “probate estate.”
The probate estate is managed and distributed for the benefit of the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries by a court-appointed personal representative, commonly known as an executor if the decedent had made a will or an administrator if the decedent died without leaving a valid will.
Whoever is appointed to manage the probate estate has a fiduciary duty to administer the estate in good faith with the best interest of the estate beneficiaries in mind. Disputes over estate administration arise when the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries claim that the executor or administrator is not administering the estate properly, and therefore is breaching his or her fiduciary duties.
Common Types of Estate Dispute Claims
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Failure to Provide Accounting
Wrongful Interference with Inheritance
Consult with an Experienced Attorney
The attorneys of Gaslowitz Frankel have years of expertise in handling complex issues surrounding estate disputes. For reliable legal guidance and professional discretion, consult with the attorneys of Gaslowitz Frankel.