Like most children, you have dreaded the day when your parents die. Now that the day has come, you depend on their executor to manage your parent’s assets and distribute them according to their estate plan’s instructions. The executor’s fiduciary duty requires him or her to act in the best interests of your parents’ estate.
Even if you have a good relationship with your siblings, the probate family may bring out the worst in one or more of them. If one of your brothers or sisters is the executor, you may have to intervene to prevent him or her from breaching important fiduciary duties.
According to Psychology Today, the death of a parent has the potential to change family dynamics forever. Therefore, you should expect to have some normal friction. If your sibling uses his or her role as executor to carry out self-serving actions, though, you have a real problem on your hands.
Remember, as the executor of your parents’ estate, your sibling cannot use the position to advantage himself or herself to the detriment of the estate. Consequently, it is imperative to closely monitor your brother or sister for signs he or she may be in breach of fiduciary duties.
Fiduciary duties are critically important, so judges tend to not look kindly on breaches of them. If you have evidence your sibling is doing something inappropriate, you may have to file a legal action. When doing so, you have the opportunity to provide proof of the fiduciary duty breach.
Ultimately, to protect your parents’ legacy and even your inheritance, you should not let family pleasantries keep you from asserting your legal rights.