An executor is the person that administers a person’s estate. The executor is named in a will, and often appointed by a probate court. An estate includes all of the assets and debts that a person had at the time of their death. Assets that have a joint owner, or that name a beneficiary upon death are typically not part of the estate.
If an executor is not performing his or her duties in accordance with the will, or if the executor is acting in a manner that harms the estate and the estate’s beneficiaries, he or she may be subject to litigation. You may learn more about filing litigation against an executor in our article. You may also learn more about removing an executor in our article that discusses the process for removing an executor.
This article will discuss who is eligible and able to bring an action against an executor. We will also discuss who is eligible to seek the removal of an executor.
Under Illinois law, an individual or business entity may file a lawsuit in probate proceeding. However, the individual or entity must have an actual legal interest in the probate estate in order to proceed with the lawsuit. This concept of whether a person has a true legal interest that is recognized by the Court is called “standing.” The following individuals may have standing to file a lawsuit against an executor:
- Beneficiary of a Trust
- Beneficiary of a former trust of the person who died
- Beneficiary of a Will
- Beneficiary of a former will of the person who died
- Disinherited heir (child or grandchild) of a person who died
These same individuals may also have standing to file an action seeking to remove an executor. If you are concerned about the management or mismanagement of a loved one’s estate, please contact one of our attorneys. We offer a free thirty (30) minute consultation to discuss estate litigation.