Though most beneficiaries’ primary concern is the loss of their loved one, if they are entitled to inheritance, they will most likely want to see that everything ends up as written in the decent’s will. When someone takes on the role of an executor, they are taking on significant responsibility. Fortunately, most people realize how important it is that they honestly and efficiently fulfill their duties. However, sometimes, for one reason or another, an executor is not right for the job. If you find yourself in a situation where you are looking to have an executor removed, here are some of the questions you may have regarding your legal options going forward:

What does an executor do?

An executor has several responsibilities, though, in a nutshell, it is the executor’s job to ensure the decent’s wishes are carried out as intended in his or her will. Executors will open probate, identify the deceased’s assets, notify the beneficiaries, pay off debts, distribute assets to their beneficiaries accordingly, and do everything else needed to close out an estate. When an executor does not follow the rules, things become far more complicated than necessary.

What are valid grounds to petition for an executor’s removal?

  • The executor is now ineligible or unsuitable for the role
  • The executor is incompetent or has recently been incapacitated
  • The executor is simply unqualified
  • The executor is mismanaging the estate in some way

What does negligent or irresponsible executor behavior look like?

Some examples of poor executor behavior are as follows:

  • Selling the deceased’s assets for less than fair market value without the beneficiaries’ consent
  • Changing a will’s provisions
  • Signing a will on behalf of the deceased
  • Attempting to stop beneficiaries from contesting the will
  • Carrying out a will before its creator is deceased
  • Managing the estate before being legally appointed as executor

How do I remove an executor?

Though it is always best to first talk with an executor, sometimes, it’s impossible. When this is the case, individuals will seek to have an executor legally removed from his or her duties. To have an executor removed, you will petition the court. You must then attend a hearing where you will face the current executor. You will both speak your piece, and the court will decide on whether to remove and replace the current executor or not. If you suffered significant damages due to the negligent executor’s actions, you may also file a civil lawsuit against them.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

Juan C. Velasco, Esq. is a trusted attorney who concentrates on bankruptcy, family law, real estate, and estate matters who has been serving the New Jersey area for over 20 years. If you need experienced legal counsel, please contact Velasco Law Office and we will be happy to assist you.

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