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How to Stop A Corrupt Executor in New York Frequently Asked Questions

An executor is the person who is named in a decedent’s will and appointed by the Surrogate’s Court to settle his (or her) estate. In the absence of a will, the individual is called an estate administrator. The job of the executor or administrator is to perform a series of tasks that ultimately lead to the decedent’s assets being distributed to his beneficiaries or heirs, and his estate being closed. The job of the executor requires him to have broad access to and control over estate assets. A great deal of trust is place in the hands of an executor. Sadly, there are occasions when an executor abuses the trust and violates his or her fiduciary responsibilities. As are result, the estate, beneficiaries, and heirs are often harmed. When this happens, steps must be taken to stop the executor, remove him from office, and appoint a new administrator. To learn more about the rules related to how to stop a corrupt executor in New York, contact an experienced probate lawyer serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

What are grounds for having a crooked estate administrator removed?

If an administrator commits any act that violates his duty to manage estate assets in the best interest of the beneficiaries and heirs, there may be grounds to have his letters revoked and have him removed from that role.

Under section 711 of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, an executor or administrator may be removed due to misconduct for the following reasons:

  • Wasted the assets of the estate
  • Made unauthorized or improvident investments
  • Damaged estate property
  • Failed to notify the court of an address change,
  • Removed estate property without prior court approval
  • Failure without good cause to obey a direction of the court

If you have concerns that the actions of an executor may signal that he or she is not fit to serve, contact an experienced New York probate lawyer to discuss your concerns.

In addition, if an executor is convicted of a felony while in office, he no longer would meet the qualifications to serve as executor.

How to fight a corrupt executor?

The best way to stop a corrupt executor is to document his misdeeds and petition the court to have him removed. When an executor or estate administrator is appointed by the Surrogate’s Court, the judge will issue him a document called letters. The court will issue letters only after it determines that the person who petitioned for the letters is qualified. As a New York probate lawyer will explain, if the executor commits shows that he is no longer fit to serve, then an interested party such as an heir or beneficiary can petition the court and ask that his letters be revoked. The respondent executor must be given notice of the petition and will have the opportunity to respond.

Appointing a new administrator

Appointing a new estate administrator or executor after removal of a corrupt one involves the same process as appointing the original administrator. Anyone wishing to be appointed must submit a petition to the Surrogate’s Court. If the person is eligible and meets the qualifications, the court will issue him or her letters.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

For over two decades the experienced probate attorneys in New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have successfully represented clients in matters related to probate, estate administration, and estate litigation before the New York Surrogate’s Court. If you have questions or concerns related to how to fight a corrpt estate administrator, contact one of our attorneys at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Long Island, Nassau County, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.

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Mr. Bilkis handled both my father and mother's estate issues through very difficult times he was compassionate kind and understanding. In fact the whole firm showed great empathy. Despite the emotional hard time we were having that quickly and efficiently handle all the matters that were necessary to get us the result we desired. Can't recommend them enough. B.B.
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