Removing a Trustee or Executor

If you are seeking to remove a trustee or executor, you should know that this is possible, but often very difficult. If the circumstances warrant this type of legal action, you should only pursue it with an estate litigation lawyer. 

Typically, a scenario like this will include many family members, or rather, anyone included in the estate. As an estate litigation lawyer, many cases like this have involved heated emotions, arguments, and a lot of challenges. It is our goal to honor the wishes of the grantor or decedent, as well as our client. When applicable, we may legally be able to remove and replace the executor of a will, trustee of a trust, or agent of an estate or power of attorney. 

Removing the Trustee or Executor

A will or trust may be left to the heirs of an estate. Although both estate planning tools are different. A will is to be managed by an executor; whereas, a trust should be overseen by a trustee. Both people will have a number of duties, also known as fiduciary duties, and they must adhere to transparency, honesty, and fair dealing. Sometimes, either party might fail to perform their duties; thereby, cause damage to the estate. Duties that either party might have, include:

  • Locating assets of the estate
  • Gathering and safeguarding the assets
  • Valuing and selling assets (when debt is owed)
  • Notifying creditors of the death
  • Paying off any remaining state or federal taxes
  • Distributing the assets
  • Maintaining accounting records
  • And more…

It should be understood that any kind of financial loss is not enough to remove an executor or trustee from an estate. Likewise, it is not possible to remove either party because a beneficiary or heir doesn’t like them. As an estate litigation lawyer, we would recommend proceeding with a petition for removal when there is evidence to suggest misconduct or negligence has occurred. For example:

  • The party is representing the estate under false pretenses
  • The party is misusing money from the estate
  • There are missing items or money
  • Accounting records are being falsy written
  • The party has been diagnosed with a disability that impairs their ability to manage the estate
  • The party has been convicted and sentenced to incarceration
  • The party is not adhering to its duties

The above is not exhaustive. If you don’t know whether you have a case, speaking with a qualified estate litigation lawyer from the law firm Klenk Law, could be the first step to understanding what your legal options are and how to navigate from there.

An Estate Litigation Lawyer You Can Count On

To remove an executor or trustee, you can expect several months to pass before everything is completed. It is also a costly process; therefore, should be worth your time and money. Further, there must be sufficient evidence that proves your allegations. It will then be up to a judge to make a final decision. 

If you are unsure whether you have grounds for removal, speak with an estate litigation lawyer today.

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