The most common issue brought up in probate litigation is that of executor fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. Though difficult to prove, it is nevertheless alarmingly common. Executors of an estate sometimes deal with estate property as though it belonged to them, can "compensate" themselves handsomely for executor's services, and with surprising frequency favor one heir over others.
In re Estate of Tarpley was previously up before our Court of Appeals and was blogged about by this firm here.
The case involved an executor that treated the decedent's truck as though it were her own and wound up liable for high compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney fees.
The recent opinion, reprinted in whole after the "read more" break below, deals primarily with procedural issues surrounding the award of damages, but the underlying message is clear: executors can be taken to task for their misappropriation of estate property.
Tanner Pittman, LLC is an estate planning and probate law firm that assists clients in pursuing cases of breach of fiduciary duty against executors and trustees in estates.
In re ESTATE OF Opal Mae TAPLEY
Tanner Pittman, LLC is a West Georgia law firm that specializes in estate services, civil litigation, and legal transactions.
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