Skip to Content
Klenk Law

Grounds for Removal of an Executor

Posted on Fri Oct 11, 2019, on Estate Litigation

From Our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: “My brother was named the executor for my mother’s estate. He has moved into the house and now refuses to answer my calls. What are the grounds for removal of an executor?”

Grounds for Removal of an Executor

Will Contest Lawyer, Glen Ridenour.

Grounds for Removal of an Executor.

An Executor is a fiduciary who owes the beneficiaries a fiduciary duty. Once appointed executor, only a judge can remove the executor. That is to say; the judge can remove the executor.  But, the judge will only remove executors after receiving evidence proving the executor’s action (or inaction) runs counter to the beneficiaries’ best interests.  Gathering this evidence may require subpoenas and depositions.  That is to say; you have homework. 

Having Standing.

Only interested parties can petition a judge to remove an executor. For example, if your brother’s actions offend your friend, your friend cannot pursue removal.  Even if your friend may be correct and your brother is a terrible executor. But your friend is not a beneficiary. Your brother’s actions do not harm this hypothetical friend.  Therefore, your friend doesn’t have the standing to file the petition.

You, though, have standing. This standing comes from you being a beneficiary of the estate. Further, your brother’s actions harm your interests. 

Reasons for Executor Removal.

Just being upset with the Executor is not enough. Beyond being upset, you must provide the judge a basis for removal. Every case is different, but this is a list of some common reasons for Executor Removal. For example:

  • Friction between Co-Executors.
  • Failure to Comply with Will’s Terms.
  • Non-Cooperation with a Vital Party or a Beneficiary.
  • Neglecting or Mismanaging Estate Assets.
  • Misconduct.
  • Self-Dealing.
  • Abuse of Discretion.
  • Misappropriation of Funds.
  • Hostility Towards Heirs.
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty.
  • The Executor is Insolvent or Otherwise Unfit.
  • The Executor has Become Incapacitated.
  • The Executor’s Failure to Act.
  • Excessive Executor Fees and Expenses.
  • Executor Being under Undue Influence.
  • Conflict of Interest.

Has your executor demonstrated any of these characteristics? If so, we can ask the judge to remove and replace the executor.

How to Remove an Executor.

If an interested party believes that an Executor has committed acts requiring removal, they can hire an Estate Litigation Attorney to petition for that fiduciary’s removal. Also, if the Executor’s wrongful act has damaged the Estate, the Attorney can Petition to force the Executor to file a Formal Account. In this process, the Estate Litigation Lawyer can obtain an order allowing discovery. For example, the judge can allow your lawyer to depose the fiduciary, subpoena evidence, collect records, and interview witnesses.  As a result, you then have the power to obtain evidence proving executor removal is needed.

More Detail.

For more detailed information about Grounds for Removal of an Executor, see my page “Removal of Executors: Everything You Need to Know.” 

In Conclusion: Grounds for Removal of an Executor.

I hope you found helpful this short article about the Grounds for Removal of an Executor. Also, I have included some links for more detailed information. Are you curious about pursuing an executor’s removal?  Contact us. Let our Estate Litigation Lawyers walk you through this confusing process. Furthermore, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. 

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!

It’s What We Do!

Tags:

Estate Litigation Attorney, Estate Litigation Lawyer, Executor, Glen Ridenour

What Our clients are saying

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter was excellent. He explained everything very clearly and is super friendly. My wife and I originally tried using a lawyer through group legal coverage, but unfortunately the old adage - "you get what you pay for" - applied to the other lawyer, and we decided to go with a real professional.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

When it came down to picking the right attorney to handle my affairs, I knew right away it was this firm. From speaking to their secretary to speaking to Peter I knew I was making the right decision. After only a few mins Peter knew right away what I was looking for and handled all my questions professionally and even gave me great feedback that put my mind at ease. All that without even giving a single penny! So of course I hired him! So far so good...

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

AWESOME LAWYER! Peter Klenk is an exceptional attorney and a very nice person! Today I spoke with Peter about estate planning and was impressed with by his professionalism, cordiality, and attention to detail. I highly recommend Klenk Law for probates, wills, trusts, and other issues germane to estate planning!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Great friendly staff

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Tremendous firm with bright, kind and tenacious people. Great representation for our family.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

I'm totally satisfied with Klenk Law. Peter has a great legal mind with the personality of the guy next door.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Everything about my experience was a 10+! Peter and his staff made what I thought would be a difficult process easy and understandable. Every detail was handled correctly. No other firm could possibly do better than Klenk Law!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Like another reviewer, I contacted Peter through his website using the free consultation link, for a question regarding PA inheritance taxes. The question was quite technical and difficult to explain, and the answer was nowhere to be found on the web. Peter grasped precisely what I was asking, and provided a clear, helpful response (with a touch of humor) the very next day.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Answered my question quickly and referred me to a colleague that could handle my problem

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Mr. Klenk, quickly understood the circumstances presented and provided clear and concise advice. This advice provided me with the information I required to progress the case to my advantage.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter is excellent. I had a very complicated situation with my parents' estate planning and potential Medicaid needs. Peter was very knowledgeable in estate planning matters, able to define the best solution for the situation. Additionally, he was congenial and able to communicate effectively to my senior citizen parents the benefits of estate planning. He earned my trust, and more importantly, my parents' trust in a 45 mins consultation period. Highly recommend Peter. He is very easy to work with.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter recently gave a presentation about Wills & Trusts at my employer, and it was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable and provided valuable information to the group. People were very engaged and asked several questions, all of which Peter thoroughly answered. Personally, my husband and I have selected Peter to help us with our estate planning, and he has been very helpful in providing us with all of the information we need to provide a secure future for our family. Thank you, Peter!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter explained things in a way that was easy to understand. Everything was done in the time frame he said it. Could not have been better!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

You & your staff are the best thank you for everything.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter and his staff handled all of our needs in a very professional and timely matter.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter Klenk made a complex subject understandable and allowed us to move forward with our estate planning. He was patient with our questions and creative in the solutions he proposed.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter explained a complex subject very clearly, helped us to decide the best approach to managing our estate and then made it very easy for us to execute the required documents. He will be a valuable resource for years to come and clearly has a great understanding of estate law that will lead to innovative solutions for us. I would unhesitatingly recommend him for estate planning.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Fantastic customer service. Very personable and most importantly they provide great explanations of what is required based on your individual needs. Highly recommend Klenk Law for anyone that needs to create a will and estate documents.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Always professional and very responsive. Everyone on the staff that I have worked with. I look forward to continuing our relationship.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Surprisingly easy

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Affable...yet surprisingly cerebral estate planning atty. High marks all the way around.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter and his associates made things easy for us.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.