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By: Scott Grossman on August 5th, 2016

Executors of California Estates Must Be Fair or Risk Removal

Executors of California estates have a duty to carry out their duties impartially and fairly to all beneficiaries. When an executor exhibits bias, this can be very dangerous to beneficiaries who could be denied some or all of their inheritance. If you are the beneficiary of an estate and suspect that the executor may be biased, it is very important to consult with an experienced California probate litigation attorney as soon as possible. Any delay could cost you financially as estate assets are wasted or distributed. A solid legal professional will protect your best interests under these circumstances.

Recently, the widow of a woman whose husband was murdered brought an action alleging that the executor of his estate is biased against her. She asserts that the executor (her brother-in-law) has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her and has made disparaging comments to the media. If you find yourself dealing with an executor who you suspect may be displaying a similar bias towards one or more beneficiaries, your attorney will assess the following points:

  • Does the executor have a hidden motive that is detrimental to a beneficiary?
  • Does the executor show prejudice against one or more beneficiaries?
  • Do the executor’s actions demonstrate an inability to administer the estate fairly and honestly?

If it is discovered that the executor is biased, your attorney can assist you in pursuing an action against him or her. Your attorney can also help with trying to have the executor removed and a new, impartial executor appointed in his or her place. To learn more about the process of alleging executor bias or having an executor removed from an estate, view our free guide The Ultimate Guide to California Trust and Probate Litigation.