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How can executors manipulate beneficiaries?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2023 | Probate

The dynamic between executors and beneficiaries may not always be a positive one. The majority of executors carry out their responsibilities diligently. However, some manipulate beneficiaries to serve their own interests.

Understanding potential methods of how this happens is important for beneficiaries.

Withholding ideas or information

Executors often hold a position of trust and authority. They can exploit this inherent power dynamic for personal gain.

One common tactic is withholding aspects that may be unfavorable to their cause. Beneficiaries may find themselves at a disadvantage when making decisions about the estate. For example, beneficiaries may not know that upon death, people can transfer up to $12.92 million to heirs without paying federal estate taxes as of 2023.

Creating divisions

Manipulative executors may exploit existing family tensions or create bad feelings among beneficiaries to take attention away from their actions. By increasing arguments and mistrust, the executor can distract beneficiaries from looking at their decisions closely.

Divided beneficiaries are less likely to form a united front, making it easier for the executor to maintain control over the process.

Delaying distribution

Time can be a powerful tool in the hands of an executor. Purposeful delays in the distribution of assets can lead to frustration. This can eventually make beneficiaries accept unfavorable terms.

Lying about the estate

Executors have a legal obligation to provide beneficiaries with accurate information. However, some may intentionally lie, making it difficult for beneficiaries to assess the true value of the estate. This lack of transparency can prevent beneficiaries from making informed decisions.

Understanding the potential manipulation tactics employed by executors can help you protect your rights. Knowledge becomes the armor that safeguards the interests of those inheriting a legacy.