If a family member dies with an estate plan in place, it typically names who will execute the estate. You might be worried about what power this person has and if they can use their position to steal your inheritance from you.
Do not worry too much. The law limits executors’ powers, and if the estate needs to pass through probate, the executor will need to keep the probate court informed as they go along.
If you are unsure about an executor, consider why the deceased chose them
Sometimes people can choose executors that might seem strange to others. Yet, often they have a good reason.
For example, you think it weird that your dad chose a work colleague rather than you or your siblings. Maybe he did so to reduce the chance you, his children, ended up suspicious of each other? If your dad chose to pay someone to execute the estate, it might be that he thought you were too busy raising your families or lived too far away for it to be easy for you.
You can challenge an executor if you have suspicions
While most executors do an honest job, there will always be exceptions, so it pays to keep an eye to ensure nothing untoward is happening.
While executors receive a fee for their services, it is relatively small compared to the time and effort that goes into the job. If you are not happy with their performance, try talking to them about your concerns to see if you can help. If they refuse to keep you informed or their explanations are unsatisfactory, it might be time to learn more about challenging an executor.