A perfectly valid will or trust will be deemed ineffective if those persons legally responsible for carrying out the desires of the testator are unable or unwilling to comply with the terms of the will or trust instrument. In certain situations Tennessee probate and trust law allows for a personal representative or trustee to be removed for breaching their fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries. Common reasons for executor or trustee removal include incompetence, misappropriating assets or conflicts of interest. It is also not uncommon for disputes to arise between family members and other beneficiaries concerning the valuation, division and distribution of estate assets.
Will contests and estate disputes are complex, emotional and divisive matters. If you are a beneficiary of a decedent’s trust or estate you should consult with an experienced Tennessee probate or trust attorney to help assure that your beneficial rights are protected to the full extent of the law. If you believe your beneficial rights are being violated or overlooked, failure to promptly act may cause a delay in receiving your inheritance or even bar the recovery of your inheritance due to the passage of a statutory time limit.
Likewise, if you are a personal representative or trustee accused of wrongdoing you should immediately consult with an experienced Tennessee probate or trust attorney to defend yourself and work to resolve the issue. Failure to promptly consult with experienced legal counsel could be result in unintended consequences because under Tennessee’s probate and trust laws you can be held personally liable if you, in your capacity as personal representative or trustee, are judged to have breached your fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries.