When a loved one passes away, he or she usually leaves a last will and testament so his or her wishes can be carried out as intended. Though beneficiaries are often eager to receive their share and be done with it, this is not always the case. Administering a will is a complicated, in-depth process, so everyone involved must have patience. However, if you believe the executor of the will is somehow mismanaging assets or conducting him or herself inappropriately in some way, you may wish to have them removed. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some of the questions you may have regarding your legal options going forward:
What is the job of an executor of a will?
Essentially, the executor must ensure all aspects of your loved one’s will are carried out as he or she would have wanted. The executor will have to distribute assets as appropriate, pay off all debts and taxes, and act in the overall best interest of the family as a whole. Being an executor is not an easy job, and if someone is not up for it, they may try and cut corners or act dishonestly. If this is the case, people very often seek to have the executor removed from his or her duties.
What are grounds to have an executor removed?
While of course, it is always best to first try and communicate directly with the executor about what you would like to see change, this does not always work, especially if the executor is trying to get over in some way. This is why many people take legal action against the executor in these situations. Valid legal grounds to have your executor removed are as follows:
- The executor is incompetent
- The executor is no longer eligible to be an executor
- The executor is mismanaging the estate in some way
- The executor is simply unsuitable for the job, perhaps due to a conflict of interest
How do you remove an executor of a will?
To remove an executor, you may do one of two things: First, you may petition the court to remove the executor from the position. Once you file the petition, the court will hold a hearing where both you and the executor will have your voices heard, and the court will make its decision accordingly. Additionally, you can file a civil lawsuit against an executor if you can prove that you suffered damages due to his or her negligent or downright underhanded behavior and abuse of power. However, it is always best to do so with a seasoned attorney on your side.
Contact our experienced Maryland firm
The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.