What Are My Rights As A Beneficiary?

An estate executor or administrator and the attorney that he or she works with during the probate process do not necessarily represent your interests as a beneficiary. They are, however, responsible for protecting the assets in the estate and have some fiduciary duty to beneficiaries as a result.

While most beneficiaries do not need legal representation, there are instances where you may be well-advised to seek counsel from an experienced lawyer. For example:

  • If the executor has failed to inform you that you were named in the will, or will not tell you the extent of your inheritance outlined in the will — the executor is under no legal obligation to furnish you with a copy of the will or provide information about the inheritance of other beneficiaries
  • If you believe the executor has committed a breach of fiduciary duty — e.g., if he or she has taken money from the estate through fraudulent means, is acting in self-interest as opposed to the interest of protecting assets and beneficiaries, or has failed to record financial activity
  • If you need to challenge or contest a will — in cases of a benefactor's mental or physical incapacity giving way to a beneficiary's manipulation, or the legal status of wills and trusts being called into question because of forgery or destroyed documents

At Steele Law Offices, LLC, we can help you understand whether your rights have been violated and what action you can take to remedy the situation. Attorney Randall P. Steele is available to personally answer your questions about estate planning, heirs and beneficiaries. His longstanding reputation in Glen Carbon has helped our firm achieve outstanding results for clients throughout Illinois.

Whether taking action through settlement negotiation, compelling an executor to act through legal assertions or taking matters to court, we can help you achieve the most favorable outcome possible.

Contact our office online or by telephone at 618-288-9591 for more information.