What Qualifies as Executor Incompetence or Misconduct?

Who you choose as the executor or personal representative for your estate really matters. In the event of a conflict where it can be shown that the person you chose has violated the rules or ethics, they could be removed from their role.

Courts can remove executors in certain situations when they have been appointed to serve in the role of administering an estate. Any executor who appears to be dishonest or incompetent could be removed from his or her role. Make sure you have evidence of executor misconduct before moving forward with these proceedings.

It is typically the responsibility of the beneficiaries of the estate to go to probate court and provide evidence and indications that the executor needs to be replaced. Every state has individual rules about what constitutes a reason for removal. In general, however, the factors that a court will look at include any executors who appear to have:

  • Been convicted of felony.
  • Mismanaged estate property.
  • Fails to account for estate assets.
  • Has used estate funds for improper personal expenses.
  • Fails to comply with a court order.
  • Does not carry out executor duties.

Although the circumstances for one case to another might be slightly different, any of these issues or a combination of any of these issues could be enough for a court to warrant that an executor should be removed. Because someone must still be responsible for the administration of the estate, a new executor will likely be appointed if and when the court decides to remove another party.

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