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Removing an Executor in New Jersey

Posted on Tue Feb 20, 2024, on Executor Removal

From Our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: “My brother is the Executor of my mother’s estate in Camden County, New Jersey.  He is living in the house and refuses to sell it or move.  How do I go about removing an executor in New Jersey?”

removing an executor in New Jersey

New Jersey Will Contest Lawyer Brian Perez.

What Is an Executor Supposed to Do in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, when a person dies with a Will, the assets are divided up by the Will.  The person responsible for gathering the assets, paying the bills, and then distributing the assets is the Personal Representative or Executor.  For this article, we will use the term Executor, the term most people know.  

The County Surrogate appoints the Executor.  This person owes the heirs a fiduciary duty.  An Executor doesn’t need to complete all tasks as quickly as possible but within a reasonable time.  Further, the Executor doesn’t have to inform the heirs immediately of every action.  But, the Executor needs to convey information in a reasonable amount of time.  The executor has a duty to maximize the assets to give the heirs their inheritance without waste.

How do I Go About Removing an Executor In New Jersey?

Even though the county appoints the Executor, it is possible to remove an executor.  If you are concerned that an executor is being negligent or is willfully wasting or damaging the estate, call us for a free consult.  Our experienced Executor Removal team can answer your questions. 

Remember, even if you have incontrovertible evidence proving an executor should be removed, only a judge can remove the Executor in New Jersey.  If you are an interested Party, we can, as your Estate Litigation Attorney, submit the correct Petition requesting removal. Furthermore, we can gather and arrange the evidence in the proper format.   The judge will remove the Executor if she finds the evidence supports the Petition.

Our Guardianship Team:

Attorney Tracey Connor, pictured above, is part of our Estate Litigation team. This team regularly handles cases involving removing an executor. Sometimes, we represent the parties attempting to remove the Executor. At other times, we represent the Executor whom the Parties try to remove. This is our area of the law. We don’t dabble in other areas; we focus on estate litigation. Attorney Connor works with a team that includes Department Head Attorney Glen Ridenour and Attorney Brian Perez.

If you have an Executor removal matter, don’t go to someone who dabbles in the area. In Pennsylvania, our team focuses on one court: the Oprhan’s Court. This is the court that oversees Executor removal matters. 

Grounds to Remove an Executor.

You cannot successfully ask a judge to remove an Executor simply because you don’t like them. Personality conflicts are not grounds for removal. Furthermore, the ups and downs of a typical investment account are expected. If the stock market goes up or down, it is not grounds for removal. But there are grounds for removal, and these include:

  • The Executor is mentally ill and unable to administer the estate.
  • A conviction of a felony crime, primarily if related to fraud.
  • Proof that the Executor wasted assets or failed to secure them, allowing them to be stolen.
  • An Executor fails to take necessary action after a reasonable time.
  • Use of false documents or information to obtain the Executor position.
  • Documented threats to not follow the Will’s terms. 

Remember, even after failing or refusing to administer the estate, only a judge can remove an executor. The attorney files the correct Petition and provides the judge proof at a hearing.  

This Blog is just a quick introduction to Removing and Executor. To learn more, follow this link to my website’s pages entitled Reval of Executors: Everything You Need To Know.

In Conclusion, Do you need an Executor Removal Attorney?

I hope you found this short article, Removing an Executor. I have also included some links for more detailed information.

Contact us if you want to know more or have an estate needing our help. Let our Pennsylvania Executor Removal Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. Feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. 

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

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Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

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