Who qualifies as a “person interested in the estate?” That’s a common question. The term “person interested in the estate” means any person who has received or is entitled to receive any property or interest in the estate of someone who has passed away. The person who died is called the decedent. Included in the definition of “person interested in the estate” is the personal representative, trustee and conservator.
Any person interested in the estate legally may appear at the hearing for the estate. They can also file allegations in writing against the executor or administrator in an attempt to have them removed. Then, the executor or administer can demur or answer the allegations. The issue then must be heard by the court and the decision is up to the court.
Sometimes, the term “person interested in the estate” has been challenged. As it stands though, courts generally feel that any doubts as to whether a person has an interest in the estate should fall in favor of the petitioner. This doesn’t mean that the petitioner will win in court, of course. It just means that if a person wants to contest a will or bring allegations against an executor, for example, the right to be heard in court shouldn’t be denied. Courts have concluded that no matter how contingent the persons interest may be, if they believe they have an interest in the estate, they should have the right to be heard.
If you feel you’re a person interested in the estate and that you’ve been left out of the process, it may be wise to seek legal counsel.
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