Can I Challenge the Executor?

An executor of a will is the deemed representative selected to pay off any debts and distribute the estate and assets as set in terms of the will. A family member may challenge the executor and the challenging processes is done through a trial where a judge looks at the issues raised.

Courts typically remove executors if they fail to fulfill their duties or if the will appointing them is void or invalid. If you plan on challenging an executive, use these steps as a processes to ensure it is done correctly.

Consider whether you have a chance to challenge the executor of a will

Usually you need to be more than close family to throw out an executor. Typically, someone who is inheriting assets from the will stands more of a chance in challenging the executor.

Make sure the executor was actually named in the will

Read the will to find out if an executor was named. Look for evidence that the deceased may have intended on naming another executor or that the name may have been changed by a third party. Consider whether the will is valid.

Consider the grounds for challenging the executor of the will

Consider whether the executor is fit to undertake in their duty. The executor is required to take any action necessary to ensure that the beneficiaries receive maximum benefits and prohibits self-dealing and dishonesty. If you don’t believe the executor is capable of fulfilling these duties, you may have grounds to challenge.

Gather solid evidence of misconduct by the executor

Have proof of everything you’re challenging the executor for. Misconduct must be more serious than missing deadlines. If the executor stole from the estate, lied to the court or failed to obey the court, make sure you have evidence of that.

File an objection to the executor or will with the probate court

After receiving the objection, the court will set a trial date to hear each side and their evidence. Prepare to present your arguments in order to convince the court of your allegations.


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