It is difficult to manage your emotions and legal matters after a loved one passes away. However, you expect the personal representative of the estate to handle things with integrity and honesty. Unfortunately, some personal representatives do not fulfill their obligations.
Personal representatives, sometimes known as executors or administrators, have specific duties. If the personal representative in your situation is not adhering to these responsibilities, you may be able to remove him or her. Here is how to remove a personal representative who is violating his or her fiduciary duty.
Committing misconduct or showcasing incompetence
The probate court may replace the executor if he or she is incompetent or dishonest. Some reasons the court may remove a representative include the following:
- Mismanaging estate property
- Failing to account for assets
- Using estate money for personal purposes
- Failing to comply with a court order
According to Minnesota law, removal is warranted when it is in the best interests of the estate and beneficiaries.
Filing a petition for removal
If you are an heir to the estate and have concerns about the executor, you can submit a petition for removal to the probate court. When you file the petition, the court will determine when and where a hearing will take place.
Naming a new personal representative
If the court removes the personal representative, it will need to appoint another one. Hopefully, the will includes a successor representative. If the court does not name an alternate person, the court will choose someone else, such as a surviving spouse, adult children or family members.
It is troubling to learn that a personal representative is not handling an estate properly. You may feel like this person is betraying your loved one and your family. If you feel like the executor is not suitable for the position, you may want to pursue removal.