The person your loved one names as their succession representative or executor is responsible for settling your loved one’s estate, and that person has a lot of responsibility. Until the estate is closed, the succession representative is responsible for paying bills, dealing with creditors, protecting assets, locating the will, transferring property ownership, and more.
Succession representatives have a legal duty to act in the best interests of the estate, creditors, and heirs. However, some succession representatives breach their fiduciary duty by:
- Committing willful misconduct
- Acting in their own self-interest
- Failing to act
- Being incompetent
As an heir, you may sue if a succession representative breaches their fiduciary duty.
Six Possible Remedies If You Sue a Louisiana Succession Representative
Before you bring a lawsuit against a succession representative, it’s important to know the potential outcomes of your case. A successful lawsuit may result in one of the following remedies:
- An accounting. You may demand an accounting from the succession representative. If the court orders the accounting, the succession representative will share their accounting of the estate which can include citing the assets that were collected and distributions or payments that were made from the estate. The court may also order that accounting continues at regular intervals. The information learned from the accounting may assure you that the succession representative is fulfilling their legal responsibilities, or it may lead you to seek additional remedies.
- Conversion of an independent administration of the estate to an ordinary administration of the estate. The conversion may allow for additional oversight, and you may be able to seek additional remedies if you find cause to remove the succession representative, seek injunctive relief, or seek other relief from the court.
- Injunctive relief. The court may grant injunctive relief if you show that you suffered irreparable harm that can’t be remedied with money. Some things are just not replaceable. Therefore, the court may issue an injunction to prevent the succession representative from taking certain actions until the court decides the matter.
- Removal of the succession representative. You may have cause to remove the succession representative if that person is unqualified to serve as the executor, has a conflict of interest, breached their fiduciary duty, or is incompetent. Removal typically requires a court hearing, and you will have the burden of proving that the succession representative should be removed.
- Financial damages. You may seek monetary damages from the court if you suffered financial loss because of the succession representative’s failure to act with reasonable care. These situations may arise if, for example, the succession representative fails to maintain appropriate insurance on the property or fails to value the property accurately before selling it.
- Not paying the succession representative. Succession representatives typically get paid for their work. However, you may petition the court to reduce or deny payment to the succession representative if that person breached their fiduciary duties.
Your Louisiana estate litigation attorney will discuss all of the options with you and help you pursue the right remedies for your situation.
Call a Louisiana Estate Litigation Lawyer
Our experienced Louisiana estate litigation lawyers want to make sure that your loved one’s estate is handled with care. Your loved one and all of their heirs place a tremendous amount of trust in the succession representative. If you were hurt by the succession representative’s negligence, intentional actions, or incompetence, we encourage you to contact us today to learn more about your rights.
Each year, our skilled Louisiana estate litigators represent hundreds of heirs, and we have represented clients in all kinds of estate disputes. Our attorneys will thoroughly review all aspects of the succession. Then, we will advise you of your options to stop the succession representative and hold them accountable for any harm they caused.
We encourage you to contact us by calling or completing our online contact form to have us contact you, so that we can discuss your legal options and potential remedies.