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What Happens If Probate Is Started But Not Finished?

Posted by Dana Law Group on March 18, 2021

One of the most important steps when planning your will is to determine who will have the power to execute that will. The personal representative is responsible for things such as the selling of real estate and the distribution of assets to all the beneficiaries of the deceased. There are times when this representative may be unfit or unwilling to execute his or her duties in executing the will. If you have been waiting to receive your inheritance and the executor of the will has not performed those duties, there are legal remedies available to help you.

Reasons a Personal Representative May Fail to Execute a Will

There are numerous reasons why you may need to take action against the personal representative charged with distributing your inheritance. Sometimes, the personal representative has taken advantage of the situation and has taken control of real estate and other assets for personal use. In other cases, he or she may be incapable of repairing and improving the property prior to sale. In extreme cases, the personal representative may be incapacitated due to an accident or untimely death.

Whatever the reason behind the representative’s inability to perform his or her duties, you do have the right to take legal action at any time when you believe you have just cause to do so. If you can establish that the representative is incompetent, unfit, or in violation of the terms of the will, you may request that the representative be removed. Once the representative is removed, you will be able to proceed with the collection of the assets that you have inherited.

Seeking Damages from a Negligent Representative

If the personal representative has failed to execute the terms of the will, it is possible that the value of the assets involved has changed. In the case of real estate, if the property value has dropped for any reason, the sale of that property after you have removed the representative will result in a loss to you and any other beneficiaries that are entitled to the proceeds from its sale. The depreciation in property value can be considered damages due to the negligent behavior of the representative.

In such cases, it is possible to file legal action against the representative for the loss in property value. If the personal representative is found to have failed to take reasonable actions to execute the will, he or she may be required to pay you the difference in property value lost since the deceased’s death. This measure ensures you receive your full inheritance.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

Dana Law Group specializes in estate law, and we may be able to help you recover the full value of your inheritance. We serve clients across the state of Arizona and are happy to discuss all of your options if you are having difficulty recovering the inheritance you are entitled to receive. Contact us today to arrange a consultation so that we can answer your questions.