A beneficiary of the estate has the right to sue the executor or administrator if he is not doing his job competently, breaching his fiduciary duties, or causing financial damage to the estate. Although executors are generally not responsible for the debts of the estate they manage, there are at least two situations in which they can expose themselves to personal liability. The first is if they fail to pay properly and in a timely manner a creditor whose claim against an estate takes precedence. If you are that creditor, you may be able to sue the executor.
The short answer to this question is yes. There are a variety of circumstances, according to Section 212 of the Insolvency Act dealing with fault or breach of duty, where a trustee can be held liable to pay damages. Yes, an executor or administrator can be sued, just like anyone else. However, if what you want to do is challenge the distribution of a will or trust, then you will have to challenge the will or trust through probate or trust litigation.
For example, if an heir feels that he deserves a greater inheritance than the one provided by the will or trust, then the heir will need to hire an attorney and prepare and file a bankruptcy petition. Differently, if an heir feels they are entitled to the estate assets not as an inheritance but as reimbursement because they paid more of the decedent's medical bills than the other heirs, they may be able to request that additional money through a creditor's claim. If you think you deserve a larger inheritance, contact an estate litigation lawyer near you. The formal probate process can be complicated and time-consuming.
During probate, a deceased person's last will and will are admitted, her assets are identified, gift and estate taxes are calculated and paid, and claims are filed. The person doing this work is an estate trustee, also known as an administrator or executor. In New York, creditors have a maximum of seven months to file claims against an estate. If you have questions related to this aspect of estate management, Jules Haas is an experienced New York City estate litigation attorney who can help.