If you have been named as a beneficiary of the estate or trust of a loved one, you may be looking forward to getting the items or money that you are due. Many people are surprised to realize just how long it can take, especially when an estate has to go through the probate court. Before you will get what you are due, the appointed executor of the estate, or a trustee, has to identify all the assets of the estate, determine their value, pay off any debts and taxes, and finally distribute the assets to the heirs. During this time, this person will also be responsible for managing the estate/trust to ensure everything is kept in proper order.
The executor or trustee in this situation has a fiduciary responsibility to make decisions for the estate/trust based on what is in the best interest of the beneficiaries. Unfortunately, this does not always happen as it should. Sometimes the ‘power’ of acting as an executor seems to go to people’s heads, and they begin making decisions based on what they want more than anything else. They also try to hide their actions from the beneficiaries (whom are often relatives). No matter what they try to tell you, this is not right or legal.