Dealing with losing a loved one is hard enough when there aren’t complications in legally passing down property. When an executor in California does a bad job, you must know how to stand up for your rights.
Is suing even an option?
The short and simple answer is yes, you can sue the executor of your will. But bear in mind that it has to be a special circumstance because most of the time in probate litigation, an executor isn’t liable for any debts of an estate that they’ve administered.
When creditors are able to sue
There are several different situations in which an executor might be liable, but there are two main ones to be aware of. The first is when an executor fails to properly pay a creditor in a timely manner if they have a prioritized claim against the estate. This creditor might be able to bring legal action against such an executor.
When inheritors are able to sue
The other scenario is if it can be shown that the executor behaved in a dishonest or careless way in how they managed and distributed the estate’s property. When it’s written into a will that you’re going to inherit something, it’s possible that you can sue to either recover the damages or have the executor removed if they didn’t manage the estate properly.
It’s generally true that an executor is not held personally liable for an estate’s debts. Otherwise, finding someone to take the job would be much harder. However, some extenuating circumstances may lead to legal trouble for executors, especially if they carry out their role carelessly or dishonestly.