The belligerent beneficiary is a type of beneficiary that feels slighted by the estate. For whatever reason a beneficiary feels slighted, the beneficiary becomes belligerent by acting out towards the estate and the executor in any of the following ways:
- A beneficiary may try to insert themselves into the process by continually demanding updates, reports, or accountings.
- A beneficiary can threaten to exercise their right to contest the will or threaten a lawsuit.
- Feeling slighted, a beneficiary may become uncooperative by withholding information needed by the estate such as signed assent forms.
- A beneficiary may try to harass the executor into giving them more property than otherwise entitled.
Regardless of how a beneficiary behaves towards the estate, the executor must respect the rights of each beneficiary and treat them professionally, fairly, and, if necessary, firmly.