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What can I do if I feel an estate is being mismanaged?

Being the executor of an estate can be a very complicated, frustrating task. As the person designated to manage the estate, it is up the executor to make some difficult financial decisions and see to it that a person's last wishes are respected and carried out.

Sometimes these actions are not in line with what other people would do or think should be done, and this can create confusion and anger. In many cases, family members are pit against each other, and personal relationships can suffer when there are doubts or concerns about the way an executor is handling an estate. Under these circumstances, it may be necessary to take legal action.

This is the course of action one woman is after claiming her deceased friend's estate is being mismanaged.

According to the woman's lawsuit, the executor of the decedent's estate has failed to make the appropriate payments out of a trust set up for the decedent's pet dachshund. The terms of the estate plan noted that a trust of $100,000 was set up to provide ongoing care for the dog, and woman was named as steward to make sure the dog's needs were met.

However, over the years, the woman says she has received few checks, and often for just $10. Further, she claims that the executor wrote a bad check to cover nearly $6,000 in medical bills. Although the financial costs were ultimately covered, the fact that the funds were not immediately available proved to be quite troubling.

The executor of the estate has responded that she has complied with the law and has followed the terms set for the trust.

It is not clear in this case who might prevail in this case, but it does reiterate the fact that there can be at least two very different opinions when it comes to the management of an estate. This can be particularly true when there is a lot of money at stake, or when the terms of a trust are somewhat unusual.

If you are in a position to question or be concerned with the way an estate is being managed, legal action may be your best course of action. However, discussing the situation with an attorney before making any decisions about your options will be critical.

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