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Probate and Estate Litigation Blog

Can a personal representative or trustee be removed?

It is an all-too-common scenario for many Minnesotans-the personal representative of an estate not performing his duties. Is it possible to have the personal representative removed from the estate?

There are many ways a personal representative of an estate can abuse their duties. A personal representative may not sell the estate's home in a timely manner, which can result in the beneficiaries losing money if property valuation decreases. Or another common situation is when a personal representative uses the deceased person's bank accounts and assets for their own personal benefit. A personal representative may also intentionally hide assets or fail to obtain fair market value for property that is sold. These scenarios can have an impact on the amount of assets beneficiaries receive from the estate.

When a family has a trust dispute, such as removing a trustee or personal representative, an experienced attorney can provide direction and support. Beneficiaries will need to show that there is cause for removing a trustee. A trustee may fail to act on behalf of the trust terms, they may fail to meet obligations, or they may be involved in conflicts of interest or self-dealing. If the high standards are not met by a trustee, they can potentially be removed.

Having a trust dispute attorney on the beneficiary's side can help make the removal of the personal representative easier. An attorney can review with the family what their concerns are and advise them of their options. An attorney will work hard to protect their client's interests and make sure they receive the inheritance to which they are entitled.

Source:, "Can a trustee be removed from a trust?", David Montoya, accessed on July 23, 2017

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