Steps to consider taking if accused of executor misconduct

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2024 | Estate And Trust Administration

Being entrusted with someone’s entire estate is an honor and a grave responsibility. You are probably taking your duties seriously and striving to fill the role with excellence.

Unfortunately, allegations of misconduct can impact you on two fronts: emotionally and legally. If accused of misconduct during the administration process, taking the right steps can protect you and the estate. 

Understand the allegation

Who is making the accusation? What specifically are they accusing you of? Is there documentation supporting the claim? Getting answers to questions like these helps you determine the severity of the accusations and respond accordingly.

Review your duties

Texas law holds estate executors to a high standard of conduct. Refresh your memory on your fiduciary duties, which include acting in the best interests of the estate, keeping accurate records and avoiding conflicts of interest. Refer to Texas Estates Code (Chapter 351) to further clarify your responsibilities.

Gather documentation 

Collect and organize all estate-related documents, such as expense receipts, account statements and even individual transaction records. Transparent documentation can show that you did not violate any fiduciary or other duties.

Protect yourself

As mentioned, misconduct accusations can affect your emotions, which in turn can impact your actions and the decisions you make. Consider seeking legal guidance to protect yourself in case what started as an accusation becomes a litigated matter. 

Remember, being accused does not equate to guilt. Taking these steps can help you demonstrate your willingness to address the concerns and protect the integrity of the estate administration process. Legal guidance can help to protect your rights and your reputation throughout your service as executor.