Like most, you probably want to ensure your deceased loved one’s affairs are handled per their expressed wishes. After all, that is why they worked so hard to create a sound estate plan in the first place.
Unfortunately, estate mismanagement, whether due to executor inexperience or misconduct, is a bigger problem than you might expect. One way to ensure your family member’s final wishes are met is to watch out for signs of possible mismanagement or estate neglect.
Failure to communicate
As someone who stands to gain from the estate, you have the right to obtain information from the executor. If they do not answer your inquiries or purposefully fail to provide requested updates, it could indicate a possible problem with the estate.
Overdue estate inventory
In Texas, executors have only 90 days to submit a full inventory of estate property to the court. While they may formally request an extension, you may need to worry if the executor has not taken either of these actions after 90 days.
Estate property neglect
One of the primary duties of executors is to care for estate property as they would their own. For example, they must keep up with mortgage and insurance payments. If the executor fails to address vital tasks like these, it could indicate mismanagement due to neglect.
Estate asset use
Executors must never use estate assets for personal reasons, even if named as a beneficiary. Those who borrow from or use estate funds for their own gain are likely in violation of their fiduciary duty. If their actions continue, it could significantly impact the entire estate.
Consider discussing your options, including the feasibility of litigation, with someone who understands Texas estate laws. Such guidance can protect your loved one’s wishes and ensure your inheritance is not compromised.