Compassionate And Competent

Butte County Landscape

In California, executors or personal representatives wield considerable power but must act within the confines of an estate plan and the law. Straying from these guidelines may cause serious problems for the estate and its heirs. If the executor of your loved one’s estate fails to fulfill their responsibilities, you may have grounds to request their removal.

But what actions could unseat an executor from their role?

Grounds for removal of an executor

An executor’s responsibilities include managing the estate’s assets, paying outstanding debts and taxes and distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries as the deceased intended. While an inexperienced personal representative may make occasional mistakes, that may not justify their removal. However, significant mismanagement or abuse of their position may.

California law specifies the grounds to remove a personal representative, including:

  • They have wasted, embezzled, mismanaged, committed fraud or are about to do so.
  • They are incapable or unqualified to perform the duties of a personal representative.
  • They have wrongfully neglected the estate or failed to act in its best interests.
  • The removal of an executor is deemed necessary to protect the estate or its interested parties.
  • There are other legitimate reasons for removal as per state laws.

It is worth noting that you can file a petition for removal before the executor does any damage to the estate. Your swift action may help prevent future complications.

Taking steps to protect your loved one’s estate

Anyone with an interest in the estate may request the court to remove an executor. Having strong evidence and legal guidance may help advance the petition. It is possible to settle this out of court or through a hearing. If the judge concludes removal is necessary, they will grant the petition and appoint a new executor.

With so much at stake, it is imperative to take action at the first sign of unethical, dishonest or suspicious activities by the executor. Your loved one’s estate, which they worked so hard for, deserves respect and proper management.