Your Rights As A Beneficiary In Estate Administration
Losing a loved one is never easy, and during the grieving process, it can be difficult to understand and navigate the complex world of estate administration. If you are named as a beneficiary in a will or trust, it is important to know your rights to ensure that the assets are distributed according to your loved one’s wishes.
The estate administration process can be lengthy, and as a beneficiary, you may feel overwhelmed or caught in a web of legalities. Our Pompano Beach estate and trust litigation lawyer at Mark R. Manceri, P.A., can explain your rights as a beneficiary in estate administration and fight on your behalf to ensure that your rights are protected.
The 5 Rights of Beneficiaries in Estate Administration
Let’s discuss five key rights you have as a beneficiary and identify if those rights are being respected throughout the estate administration process.
1. Be Provided with Information Upon Request
As a beneficiary, you have the right to receive information about the estate and its administration. This includes copies of the will or trust documents, a list of assets and liabilities, and an overview of the progress of the estate administration process. You are also entitled to ask questions and receive answers regarding any concerns you may have. Executors and trustees are obligated to keep beneficiaries informed and provide information upon request, so do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
Note: Florida Statutes § 736.0813 requires trustees to keep qualified beneficiaries “reasonably informed” of the trust administration.
2. Receive Your Entitlement in a Timely Manner
While the process of administering an estate can take time, you have the right to receive your entitled assets as soon as possible. Executors and trustees must administer the estate efficiently, and any unreasonable delays may be a violation of your rights. If you suspect that your entitlement is being withheld, you may want to seek legal guidance to ensure you receive what you are due.
3. Be Treated Fairly and Without Partiality
When administering an estate, executors and trustees are required to act in the best interests of all beneficiaries. This means treating each beneficiary fairly and impartially, whether they are family members or not. They must also avoid any conflicts of interest that may arise concerning their personal interests and those of the estate. If you believe that the executor or trustee is acting unfairly, you may want to seek legal counsel to help ensure you are being treated equitably.
4. Receive an Accounting
As a beneficiary, you have the right to request and receive a thorough accounting of the estate’s administration. This includes a detailed record of all financial transactions, assets, and liabilities, and any fees or expenses incurred. Accounting allows you to review the management of the estate and assess whether the executor or trustee has acted responsibly and efficiently in their duties. Executors and trustees must present a clear and accurate accounting to beneficiaries, and any discrepancies should be addressed promptly.
5. Request the Removal of the Executor
If you believe that the executor or trustee has been negligent in their duties, engaged in misconduct, or is unable to carry out their responsibilities, you have the right to request their removal from their position. Removal may be necessary if the executor or trustee is misusing estate assets for personal gain, disregarding the terms of the will or trust, or causing unnecessary delays in the administration process. To request the removal of an executor or trustee, you may be required to provide evidence of their wrongdoing in court, so consulting with an attorney can be helpful in determining the appropriate course of action.
Get Valuable Legal Guidance Today
It’s crucial for beneficiaries to know their rights to ensure they receive their entitlements and that the estate is being managed responsibly in accordance with the deceased’s wishes. If you want to learn more about your rights as a beneficiary in estate administration, contact our lawyer at Mark R. Manceri, P.A. Our lawyer can provide reliable legal advice and valuable guidance during this difficult time. Call 954-491-7099 to receive a case evaluation.