There are many reasons that people in Las Vegas consider engaging in litigation during the probate process. Sometimes the amount of money or the method of distribution of assets cause probate conflicts. In other cases people may disagree with the actions of an executor and seek to have them removed from their duties. What many people may not consider, but which is an unfortunate reality for many families, is when there is the added component of the deceased having been murdered.
In one such case that may be of interest to Las Vegas readers, a woman has petitioned to have her brother-in-law and father-in-law removed as the executor and successor executor of her late husband’s estate. The men, she claims, have made derogatory statements about her that have caused them to violate their fiduciary duties. The executor’s duties that the men are accused of violating include the need to perform their duty as executor without bias against a beneficiary of an estate.
In the current probate conflicts, the statements made by the current executors included questioning the guilt of the woman who has requested their removal. They questioned her veracity after she was charged with conspiring to murder her husband, the same deceased man whose estate is being handled by the brother and father-in-law. The criminal charge came after another man, the woman’s suspected lover, was arrested and convicted for the 2010 murder of the husband. She remains a suspected conspirator in the case, but has not been tried at this time. She is listed as the primary beneficiary to the estate contents.
Though this probate case involves murder and intrigue that are not often included in such a debate, it is not uncommon for beneficiaries to question the actions of executors. When they do, there are procedures available in the probate court that can allow for a petition for removal of an executor in some probate conflicts. Though each matter is different, there are times when an executor exceeds what is allowed under the constraints of their fiduciary duties.
Source: wsbtv.com, “Andrea Sneiderman wants brother-in-law removed as executor from dead husband’s will,” Mike Petchenik, Sept. 14, 2012