What Are My Rights As A Beneficiary?
An estate executor or administrator and the attorney that they work 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 but you should be informed that you were named.
- If you believe the executor has committed a breach of fiduciary duty — e.g., if they have taken money from the estate through fraudulent means, or 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 (called “undue influence”) , or the legal status of wills and trusts being called into question because of forgery or destroyed documents
As the principal of Steele Law Offices, LLC, I can help you understand whether your rights have been violated and what action you can take to remedy the situation. I am Glen Carbon attorney Randall P. Steele and i have helped people understand their legal rights for over 30 years. I am available to personally answer your questions about estate planning, heirs and beneficiaries. I have worked hard to earn my longstanding reputation as a trusted source of legal guidance and to provide outstanding results for clients throughout Illinois.
Get Personal, Professional Legal Guidance As A Beneficiary
Whether taking action through settlement negotiation, compelling an executor to act through legal assertions or taking matters to court, I can help you achieve the most favorable outcome possible. Contact me at my office online or by telephone at 618-288-9591 for more information. I look forward to helping you resolve your issues with clear communication and personal service.