3 Common Signs Of Estate Mismanagement
Under state law in Florida, all estates must be managed by a personal representative, also known as an executor or administrator of an estate. The personal representative holds a fiduciary position and as such, they have many responsibilities. Personal representatives have a legal duty to act in the best interests in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries. Most of the time, personal representatives fulfill their legal duty and manage the estate properly. There are times, though, when estates are mismanaged by the personal representative.
In some cases, estate mismanagement is intentional, but that is not always true. For people not familiar with managing estates, it is also not easy to determine if mismanagement is happening. Below, our Daytona Beach estate planning lawyer outlines three common signs of estate mismanagement to watch for.
One of the main duties of a personal representative is to communicate with the beneficiaries of an estate. Beneficiaries must be told of the value of the estate, the expenses incurred for the management of the estate, including creditor claims, investment account statuses, and other relevant information. Beneficiaries have a right to know this information, and the personal representative must provide it.
Communication can be formal or informal. Regardless of how a personal representative chooses to communicate, if a certain amount of time has passed and you have not heard from them, it may be a sign of estate mismanagement.
Missed Deadlines or Court Appearances
Personal representatives are responsible for a number of tasks. They often have to meet strict filing deadlines, and they may even need to appear in court regularly. For example, an inventory of the estate’s assets must be filed within 60 days after a letter to submit the inventory has been issued. When a personal representative misses these deadlines and has not asked for an extension, or they frequently miss court appearances, it could be a sign of estate mismanagement.
Failing to Maintain the Property of the Deceased
The duties of a personal representative cannot be overstated, as they have many of them. In addition to meeting different deadlines and appearing in court, personal representatives must also ensure the property of the deceased is maintained properly. If the home of the deceased is in disrepair and arrangements have not been made to correct the problem, it may be a sign of estate mismanagement. If a personal representative cannot ensure proper maintenance is being done, it may mean they are not handling other aspects of the estate properly, either.
Our Estate Planning Lawyer in Daytona Beach Can Help with Mismanagement
Losing a loved one is hard enough. You should not also have to deal with a personal representative that is not handling their legal duties properly. At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Daytona Beach estate planning lawyer can determine if mismanagement is occurring and take the necessary steps to make sure your family is protected. Call us now at 386-252-5170 or contact us online to request a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.