As a beneficiary, it can sometimes feel like you are at the mercy of the executor. However, it is imperative to understand there are laws that shield beneficiaries and their inheritance from unfit or underhanded individuals. Only an expert probate litigation attorney can help enforce your probate beneficiary rights in California. Explore your rights in our blog.
An Overview of Probate Beneficiary Rights
The Right to an Accounting
One of the most important probate beneficiary rights to be aware of is the right to an accounting of all the estate’s activities, which is a vital legal tool that ensures transparency for beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries reserve the right to be updated about all activities by requesting and receiving an official accounting that includes payments made or money collected on an estate’s behalf expeditiously from the representative overseeing the estate.
The Right to Contest a Will
If they feel a will is invalid, California probate beneficiary rights also include the right to work with an expert probate attorney to challenge its validity in probate court. Still, proving a will is invalid can be difficult without considerable expertise.
“Only a professional estate litigation attorney can help navigate this process and determine if you have grounds to contest a will, and challenging this instrument is often the only way to preserve your inheritance and protect the legacy of the person who created it.” said Abbas K. Gokal, a partner at Gokal Law Group, and 20-year practicing attorney in probate and trust matters and elder abuse laws in Orange County courts.
The Right to Seek Relief
If beneficiaries feel that the personal representative entrusted with overseeing and administering the estate is unfit, beneficiaries also have the right to seek relief from that individual and remove them.
The Right to Sue
Still, sometimes the executor overseeing and administering an estate is more than just unfit and operates with ulterior motives.
If this representative has breached their fiduciary duty, one of the most important probate beneficiary rights available to protect them is the right to sue this individual. For example, maybe they misused funds or even stole assets from an estate.
In situations where the executor is not acting in the best interest of beneficiaries and encroaching on your right to receive an inheritance, a probate litigation attorney can help bring this individual to justice.
“People sometimes make the mistake of waiting too long to take action,” Abbas continued, “but consulting with a probate lawyer immediately to file a suit is of the utmost importance. Otherwise, you may never recover the funds and assets, which often has dire consequences on families for generations to come.”
The Right to an Attorney
If you feel your probate beneficiary rights in California have been violated, remember that you always have the right to consult with an attorney and seek representation to protect your rights and receive justice.
Contact Us to Defend and Enforce Probate Beneficiary Rights
As a beneficiary, you are in a vulnerable and precarious situation, and this is only compounded by the emotions associated with losing a loved one. If a representative is infringing on your rights, it can be more than overwhelming. It can make you feel powerless, and that is unacceptable.
“We will ensure your beneficiary rights are protected,” Abbas concluded, “so you can have the time, space, and closure you need to grieve for the loss you experienced.”