- No family members as beneficiaries or as executors and trustees.
- Larger estates or trusts.
- Disputes between or among the parties.
- Late or no inventory or accountings filed or trust notices given.
- Inaccurate or no record keeping.
- Unacceptable accounting practices.
- Disproportionate or unusually large transactions.
- NSF checks and bank charges, late payment charges, payment of interest or penalties.
- Use of ATM’s or gift cards.
- Health, business or personal problems of the fiduciary.
- Financial problems of the fiduciary, such as tax liens, judgments or bankruptcy.
- Difficulty in obtaining a bond or failure to renew it.
- Attorney with a history of neglecting or mishandling probate matters.
- Fiduciary with limited experience (especially where the estate is large or complex).
- Poor or no supervision of fiduciary by the attorney.
- Ignoring requests of court and ourt orders.
- Pattern of rebuffing reqquests for information by beneficiaries or the attorney or court.
- Unauthorized or uncommon gifts or loans.
- Pattern of complaints against the fiduciary.
- Transfers between bank accounts, particularly when close in time to inventory or accounting dates.
- Lack of contact between fiducairy and benefciaries.
These are also the factors that Pennsylvania courts might consider in making decisions about
whether a fiduciary should be removed, or whether some other action should be taken to protect the interest
of the beneficiaries.
But, many of these you should monitor yourself in carrying out your role as executor, or as attorney
for the fiduciary.
These are indicators or symptoms of a probate or trust administration gone awry.
If you detect them, they will require your immediate attention or you or your client will risk that the failure to
act promptly, can subject you to legal action and cost the executor or trustee money.
David M Frees III, JD 610-933-8069
David Frees advises banks, trust companies, and individual executors and trustees
on matters related to administering trusts and estates
and acts as a mediator of family, trust, and estate disputes.