Three Common Signs Of Estate Mismanagement
Florida law requires all estates to be handled by a personal representative, known as the administrator or the executor of an estate. The personal representative has many duties and they hold a fiduciary position. This means they have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries of the estate. Many times, personal representatives meet their legal obligation and manage the estate appropriately. There are instances, though, when estate mismanagement occurs.
Estate mismanagement is more common than people think. Sometimes it is intentional, but that is not always the case. If you have noticed any of the below three signs, it may be possible that your loved one’s estate is not being managed properly.
Lack of Communication
Communicating with the beneficiaries about the estate, and the administration of it, is one of the main duties of a personal representative. The personal representative must provide beneficiaries with information such as the value of the estate, the costs associated with managing the estate, such as claims from creditors, the status of investments, and other pertinent information. Beneficiaries have a right to know the value of the estate, as well as how the assets within it are being handled.
Communication can either be informal or formal, but there are certain aspects of estate administration personal representatives must keep beneficiaries informed of. For example, the personal representative must provide annual accounting statements to the beneficiaries. If some time has passed and you have not heard from the personal representative, it may be a sign that the estate is being mismanaged.
Missed Court Appearances or Deadlines
Being a personal representative is not an easy job, as there are many tasks that need attention. Some of these include meeting filing deadlines that are quite strict, and sometimes even making regular court appearances. For example, the personal representative must file an inventory of the estate’s assets within 60 days after letters have been issued to submit the inventory. If a personal representative has missed filing deadlines and has not requested an extension, or they have missed court appearances, it is a sign of estate mismanagement.
Not Maintaining the Decedent’s Property
Clearly, the job of the personal representative, and the many legal duties they have, cannot be overstated. Not all of these legal duties require filing court deadlines or attending hearings. Personal representatives must also make sure the property of the decedent is properly maintained. If the deceased’s home is falling into disrepair and arrangements have not been made to fix it, or the lawn has not been mowed for some time, the personal representative may not be doing their job and they may also be mismanaging other aspects of the estate.
Our Probate and Trust Administration Lawyers in St. Petersburg Can Help with Mismanagement
If you believe your loved one’s estate is being mismanaged, our St. Petersburg probate and trust administration lawyers at Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, can help you make it right. Call us now at 727-471-5868 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.