Probate Process: What Happens when Personal Representative Fails to Perform

Throughout the probate process, a personal representative is going to handle all of the affairs for the estate. If that individual does not perform up to expectations, it could cause serious problems for the beneficiaries of the estate. Here are a few things to consider about what happens when personal representatives fail to perform.

Probate Bond

In many cases, the personal representative is going to be required to purchase a probate bond. A probate bond will be purchased that is equal to the size of the estate that they are working with. If that individual does not distribute the assets properly, the bond issuer will reimburse those that are owed money. The bond issuer will then work to collect the money from the personal representative.

Criminal Charges

If there is no probate bond, the beneficiaries of an estate can bring criminal charges against the personal representative. They can call the police and let them know that fraud has been committed by the representative.


Beneficiaries of estate can also file a lawsuit against a personal representative. With this method, the beneficiaries can hold the personal representative personally responsible for mistakes that were made. They may also be able to recover money directly from the personal representative.

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