Do you need to remove a fiduciary executor from an estate?

It is possible to remove an irresponsible or unfit executor of an estate. However, you will need to proceed carefully around the laws that protect executors and beneficiaries from one another.

If your loved one placed their trust in the wrong person, they could rob the estate and its beneficiaries of its assets. You might be the last line of defense for your loved one’s legacy.

Who cannot be an executor?

It takes a special kind of person to handle the legal and financial responsibility of being an executor. This person will be responsible for finding, safeguarding and distributing assets. They will also need to identify, notify and pay debtors.

By law, the following people cannot perform these duties in Florida:

  • The person is a minor.
  • The person is physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to carry out the duties of an executor (as ruled by a judge).
  • They fail to produce the necessary documents proving where the money went and when.
  • The person is a convicted felon or receives a felony conviction.
  • The person has a conflict of interest against the estate or its beneficiaries.

If the estate has significant assets, it will need a mature and experienced person to handle it. If the person is well-meaning but in over their head with paperwork and cannot perform, they might not be the right person for the job. They can give up the position voluntarily or a judge can remove them.

How do you remove an executor?

If the person has committed crimes, such as stealing from the estate, you may need to bring on an experienced lawyer. They can assist you in gathering compelling evidence that the person is unfit for duty.

There are several laws in place that protect executors from disgruntled beneficiaries. This helps to prevent someone from trying to inherit more than they are due just by suing the “messenger.” However, if someone is truly failing in their duties or are no longer fit to serve the role, you have the right to challenge their position.

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