Posted on: 25 January 2016
A probate court will be reluctant to interfere in an executor's work as long as he or she is working within the directions of the decedent or for the benefit of the estate. However, this doesn't mean that an executor's job is guaranteed to last the duration of the estate. Situations that may call for the replacement of the executor include:
There Is a Conflict Of Interest
An executor can only perform his or her duties to the estate if he or she doesn't have an interest in it. Thus, conflict of interest may result in an executor's removal from the probate process. Consider an example where the executor is one of the debtors of the estate, and he or she is required to take appropriate measures to recover the debt. In such a case, it's best to let a replacement executor handle the job.
The Executor Is Legally Ineligible for the Position
Being legally ineligible means the executor doesn't meet the legal requirements an estate executor is required to have. Such requirements are usually outlined in a state's probate laws. Here are three issues that may render an executor legally ineligible to perform his duties:
- Criminal history
- Age (children below the age of 18 cannot be executors)
- Inability to get a bond (if the will requires it)
The Executor Is Dishonest
A dishonest executor is unlikely to maintain his or her position once his or her dishonesty is unearthed. For example, an executor who starts using the estate's assets for his or her personal gain will face the wrath of the beneficiaries. Even the creditors will not leave him or her in peace because he or she may squander the money meant for their repayments.
The Executor Is Unable To Perform His or Her Duties
Lastly, it makes sense that an executor who is unable to perform his or her duties should also be replaced. For example, the executor may get paralyzed, incarcerated, or even develop psychiatric problems. Such things may make it difficult for the executor to, for example, set up a bank account or make relevant filings at the local probate court, which are just two examples of the duties of an executor.
If the will named an alternate executor, then he or she will replace the first one. Otherwise, state law will determine who takes over (there is a priority list) and handles the probate process. If you have a strong reason to believe that the current executor should be replaced, contact a probate attorney to evaluate your chances of success.
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