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What Happens If An Executor Doesnt Follow The Will. Does An Executor Have To Follow The Will

Published on January 21, 2024

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What Happens If an Executor Doesn’t Follow the Will?

When someone passes away, their assets and estate are typically distributed according to their last will and testament. The person responsible for carrying out these instructions is known as the executor. However, there are instances where an executor may not follow the will, which can lead to various consequences and legal complications.

Legal Obligations of an Executor

An executor has a legal duty to fulfill the wishes outlined in the deceased person’s will. This includes distributing assets, paying off debts and taxes, and handling any other financial matters. By law, an executor must act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries.

Consequences of Not Following the Will

If an executor fails to follow the will, they may face legal consequences. Beneficiaries or interested parties can take legal action against the executor for breach of fiduciary duty. This can result in the removal of the executor from their role and potential financial penalties.

Challenging an Executor’s Actions

If beneficiaries believe that an executor is not following the will, they have the right to challenge their actions in court. This typically involves filing a lawsuit and presenting evidence to support their claim. The court will then review the case and make a decision based on the evidence presented.

Reasons an Executor May Not Follow the Will

There can be various reasons why an executor may deviate from the instructions outlined in the will. Some common reasons include:

  • Disputes among beneficiaries: If beneficiaries are in disagreement over the distribution of assets, an executor may face challenges in carrying out the will.
  • Conflicts of interest: An executor may have personal interests that conflict with the instructions in the will, leading them to deviate from the intended distribution.
  • Unclear or ambiguous instructions: If the will contains unclear or ambiguous instructions, an executor may struggle to interpret and carry out the wishes of the deceased.
  • Errors or omissions: In some cases, an executor may unintentionally make mistakes or overlook certain aspects of the will, resulting in deviations from the intended distribution.

Seeking Legal Assistance

If you believe that an executor is not following the will, it is advisable to seek legal assistance. An experienced estate attorney can guide you through the process of challenging the executor’s actions and help protect your rights as a beneficiary.


An executor has a legal obligation to follow the instructions outlined in the will. Failure to do so can lead to legal consequences and potential removal from their role. If you suspect that an executor is not fulfilling their duties, it is important to seek legal advice to protect your interests and ensure the proper distribution of assets.

For more information on estate planning and property matters, visit

How To Appeal An Unjustified Withholding Of Security Deposit Funds 19 . How To Resolve Conflict With A Landlord Regarding Property Damage

When tenants abandon their property, South Dakota landlords should first assess the damage left behind. If the damage is more extensive than typical wear and tear, the landlord may be justified in withholding security deposit funds.

However, if there is no evidence that the tenant caused extensive property damage, then it would be unfair for a landlord to withhold security deposit funds. In such cases, tenants should take steps to resolve any conflict with their landlord.

First, they must document all conversations and communication between them and their landlord regarding the dispute over security deposit funds. Second, tenants should reach out to a local housing authority or legal aid office for help in understanding their rights as tenants under South Dakota law.

Finally, they should consider filing a claim against their landlord at small claims court if they feel that they have been wrongfully denied security deposit refunds. By taking these steps, tenants can ensure that they are fairly compensated for any unjustified withholding of security deposit funds by their landlords.

What Are The Abandonment Laws In South Dakota?

In South Dakota, landlords must understand the abandonment laws when a tenant leaves their property. According to state law, a landlord may presume abandonment if the tenant has been absent from the premises for more than 15 days without notifying the landlord or paying rent.

If a landlord believes that the tenant has abandoned their property, they can enter the unit and take inventory of all items left behind. The landlord should document any damage or missing items and take photos to use as evidence if needed in court.

To proceed with legal action against the tenant, landlords must file an Unlawful Detainer action with the court in order to obtain possession of the property and initiate eviction proceedings. Additionally, landlords are responsible for disposing of all personal belongings left behind by their tenants according to South Dakota Abandonment Laws.

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