Answers to Common Questions and Situations

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What To Do If An Executor Does Not Follow The Will


What Can You Do If An Executor Does Not Follow The Will?

Sometimes you know the executor is not acting in the best interest of the estate.

But you may not know what to do if the executor does not follow the will.

That can feel very frustrating because you want to make sure the estate is handled properly, but you don’t know what can be done. 

There are options available. 

Today, we’re going to look at some of the sanctions a court can impose on an unfaithful executor.

My name is Erik Broel & I am the founder & CEO of Georgia Probate Law Group.

what happens if a will is not followed

At our firm we help families who have lost a loved one navigate the complex and confusing legal process so they can make sure the estate is handled properly and their loved one’s memory is honored.  

When an executor is appointed, they are entrusted to handle the estate properly in accordance with the Will and Georgia law. 

When an executor breaches their fiduciary duty, it can feel like a betrayal. 

What Can The Court Do When An Executor Does Not Follow The Will?

What if executor does not follow the will

Fortunately, Georgia law has some strong provisions in it that provide the court with wide ranging authority to end and punish that type of behavior:

  1. The court may order the executor to pay damages to fix financial harm to the estate.
  2. If the executor is refusing to perform a required duty, the court may order them to perform it.
  3. The court may order the executor not to take a certain action on behalf of the estate.
  4. The court may remove the executor and appoint a new person in their place.
  5. The court may reduce or deny compensation to the executor.

These categories are broad and there are a number of different ways they can be used depending on the circumstances. 

For example, if the executor has taken money from the estate it would be common for the court to order the executor be removed, compensation denied, and the money taken be paid back. 

As you can see, the categories are not mutually exclusive and can be used in a number of different ways to fit the facts of the case.

Next Steps: 

Everything discussed in this article is for general information and is not legal advice.

If you are in a situation where you have concerns about an executor not following the will, I recommend you reach out to our office at (770) 920-6030 to set up a consultation.

If you’re not quite ready for a consultation, be sure to download our Georgia Probate Handbook so you know how the estate is supposed to be handled.

Georgia Probate Handbook


Disclaimer: The information above is provided for general information only and should not be considered legal advice. Our probate attorneys provide legal advice to our clients after talking about the specific circumstances of the client’s situation. Our law firm cannot give you legal advice unless we understand your situation by talking with you. Please contact our law office to receive specific information about your situation.

Download the Georgia Probate Handbook.

Learn Important Probate Essentials, including key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.

    About the author

    Erik J. Broel
    Founder & ceo

    Erik founded the firm in 2009. He sees it as his personal mission to demystify the process of handling an estate or trust, and to help people by making the complex estate process simple and accessible. He believes there is always a better way to do things, and loves finding new and innovative ways to deliver better, more effective service that solves the client’s key problem or issue, and improves the client’s life.

    More about Erik
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