If an Executor Does Not Follow a Will, What Can a Beneficiary Do and for How Long?

Beneficiaries who are named in a Last Will and Testament may bring an action against the Executor of the Will if the Executor engaged in conduct contrary to the provisions of the Will.

How long the Beneficiary has to bring such an action depends upon the laws of the state where the Will is being executed.

The Executor named in the Last Will is vested with certain duties obligations and must carry out his or duties for the benefit of the estate and the beneficiaries. In fact, the obligations imposed on the Executor create a heightened or fiduciary obligation or duty to act in the best interest of the decedent’s estate and to exercise great care in performing his duties.

Should the Executor not adhere to this high standard of care and breach the fiduciary obligations imposed on him or her, the Beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate may sue the Executor in court. The time for bringing a lawsuit against an executor varies from state to state; the time frame is usually in the 3 to 6 year range. It is important to check your state’s law to determine the actual time frame, as any claim not filed before the statute of limitations is barred.

To find a local attorney for FREE to help you with such a filing against the Executor, see Standard Legal’s Attorney Find page.