What To Do If You Don’t Like The Executor Of Your Loved One’s Estate

Heirs and beneficiaries generally don't get to choose the executor of their loved ones' estates; the decedents actually do this in their wills prior to their deaths. However, that doesn't mean you have to accept the decedent's choice. If you don't want the chosen executor handling the administration of the estate, here are two options for resolving the problem.

Talk to the Person

The first thing you should do is talk to the person about your concerns. Most people are reasonable, and the executor may simply step aside if you discuss why you're not comfortable having him or her handle your dead relative's estate. If you think there's a conflict of interest, for instance, explaining how this conflict may cause other problems to develop could convince the person to hand the responsibility over to someone else.

Be aware, though, that the next person who takes over must submit a petition to the court to be recognized as the new executor. This can take a little bit of time, depending on the circumstance, which will delay the distribution of assets and other things that must be done to resolve the estate.

Additionally, other people may object to the person you choose, so it's important to carefully consider having the original executor step down or picking someone who everyone finds agreeable.

File a Court Objection

If the named executor refuses to hand the reins over to someone else, your other option is to force the person out of the position by filing an objection with the court. While effective, this option can be very complex and time consuming.

First, you must prove you have standing to challenging the executor's role. Only current heirs or those who may inherit if the will is invalidated have the authority to file an objection. If you don't fall into either category, you can't instigate a legal challenge, regardless of how close you were to the decedent.

Second, you must provide an adequate reason why the executor should be removed and evidence backing up your claim. For instance, the court will remove an executor who has embezzled money from the estate or failed to follow the court's orders. However, the judge will likely deny your request to change executors simply because you have a personal disagreement with the individual.

Removing an executor can be difficult and involve some complex issues. It's a good idea to consult with an attorney at a law firm like Leon J Teichner & Associates, P.C. for assistance with this and other probate issues.