It can be a difficult decision for a testator to change executor of will because he or she has picked that person himself or herself and usually knows them very well. An executor can be a spouse, an adult child, a cousin, an aunt, an uncle or a friend. The executor is the person legally deemed to be in charge of the testator’s estate upon their death. The executor has the duty of carrying out the wishes of the testator upon their death. When removing the executor of a will, two attorneys must be present at a court proceeding; an attorney for the beneficiaries and an attorney for the executor.
Reasons to Remove an Executor
Any action an executor takes on behalf of the estate he or she is liable for as deemed by the law. The beneficiaries of a will might find it necessary to remove an executor if he or she performs acts that are detrimental to the estate or to the beneficiaries. Actions that will not be cause for removal as the executor of a will include being rude to the beneficiaries, taking a long time to reach settlement, refusing to invest the estate’s assets or withholding information.
Will Executor Removal Legal Process
When having an executor removed from his or her duties, the executor and their attorney and the beneficiaries and their attorney must be present at a legal proceeding. The attorney for the beneficiaries can help to identify what actions can be cause for removal as an executor. The requirements for removal include being unsuitable for the position, incapable of carrying out his or her responsibilities, or has been disqualified after being appointed by the deceased testator. The most difficult of these to prove is unsuitability is because this is open to the court’s interpretation. The executor’s behavior must exhibit a conflict of interest or misconduct for removal to occur. A conflict of interest occurs when the executor cannot be impartial when acting on the estate’s behalf. Misconduct includes failing to follow court orders, stealing from the estate, or any other conduct detrimental to the estate.
If you or a loved one is being removed as the executor of a will, contact a wills and inheritance attorney immediately for expert legal counsel regarding your situation. On the other side of things, if you or a loved one wishes to remove an executor of their duties, contact an experienced wills and inheritance attorney immediately.