A beneficiary may retain his or her own attorney to examine the administration of the estate and the accounting of the fiduciary. If an attorney retained by one beneficiary, or a group of beneficiaries, takes action which protects the interests of the other beneficiaries or the estate entity, then it is possible for the fees for that attorney to be paid out of the common estate assets.
The executor or administrator of an estate has a certain latitude of discretion to make decisions regarding the sale of assets or other matters concerning the administration of the estate. When the fiduciary makes decisions which are beyond the scope of reasonable judgment, then the fiduciary may be personally liable for any loss to the beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries have the opportunity to challenge the actions of the fiduciary when the fiduciary presents an accounting at the end of the administration. It is possible that the review of such an accounting will take place in a legal action in which the fiduciary can seek to have the accounting approved by the Court. If the administration of an estate or trust has not been concluded, it is possible for the fiduciary or the beneficiaries to seek an interim accounting, or to seek an accounting at the conclusion of the administration.
In most cases the administration of an estate or trust is concluded by the beneficiaries and the fiduciary agreeing on an accounting without a legal action.