My father passed away and we elected to have the county administrator(a lawyer) to execute the estate...he keeps telling the other heirs what one heir has gotten from being beneficiary and it has nothing to do with the estate. The other heirs are mad now and it has caused a major problem. Is that not a brech of confidentuallity to the heir who is a beneficiary? Can he be held accoutable for what he has done and is doing? What can be done?
This actually depends on a number of factors, including your state's probate code. Most states follow the Uniform Probate Code. The probate petition requires identification of both probate and non-probate assets. If the will actually specifically identifies an otherwise non-probate asset, this could cause a controversy regarding what the testator's true intent was regarding the disposition of the non-probate asset. In most cases, the beneficiary designation will control even if a mistake, unless it's an account governed by ERISA, such as the decedent's 401K, in which case a surviving spouse has an interest regardless of the beneficiary designation. Your situation appears unusual since there doesn't appear to be a personal representative per se, to whom the laywer owes his duty. You should look at hiring local counsel to assist you through this. I've given you ideas, but you need specific legal advice, especially if the non-probate asset is more than a small amount of deceased's overall assets. Good luck.
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