Removing or replacing an executor takes time. You can remove or replace an executor in Los Angeles County California for many reasons, even in the middle of a beneficiary dispute. Below is a list of how-to and reasons to remove and replace an executor or trustee in California.
REASONS FOR REMOVING AN EXECUTOR OR TRUSTEE:
- The executor has mismanaged the assets of the estate or trust. This means any loss to the trust or estate, or any personal profit by the executor.
- The executor has not accounted after an order by the court.
- The executor fighting with the beneficiaries and has an adverse personal interest in the estate or trust.
- The executor has died.
- The executor has become ill and cannot handle the affairs of the probate estate.
- The executor has stolen money from the estate.
- The executor has personally profited from the estate unless the will specifically allows for that.
HOW TO REMOVE AN EXECUTOR?
Changing an executor comes after an executor is removed. However, you may first suspend an executor and appoint a special administrator or interim executor, before you change an executor. Generally, if the issue is simply rendering an accounting, the beneficiary will formally request the accounting, and the executor within a reasonable amount of time (usually 60) days will account. If that does not occur, and a court orders the executor or trustee to account, and the executor or trustee does not comply, then there is good cause to remove the executor or trustee.
The existence of “good cause” depends on the language of the will or trust. It is commonly not permissible to remove an executor without good cause. A prolonged illness which renders an executor or trustee unable to act, is usually good cause, as is death. Theft and mismanagement are also good causes, but do require proof of those in court.
CAREFUL CONSIDERATION & RISKS IN REMOVING AN EXECUTOR:
If you are found not to have good cause to remove or replace an executor, the court can deem that as an indirect attack against a will or even the trust and deem it a contest, which can sometimes result in loss of a beneficiary’s rights, where there is a no contest clause. California courts can also assess attorney’s fees and costs, where the beneficiary has acted unreasonably in contesting an accounting.
When you think of challenging an executor, you must give consideration to the end result of your petition for removal. Will the court remove or suspend the executor? The facts determine whether the court will take swift action. Will the action save the estate some money? Will the action recover assets which were stolen by the executor? Does the executor have a bond to recover against? and How much is the executor’s bond? Ask yourself if the court is likely to suspend the executor first.
WHEN TO HIRE US TO REPLACE AN EXECUTOR OR TRUSTEE IN LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA?
If you find that your situation meets any of the reasons to remove or replace an executor in Los Angeles, call Mina Sirkin, Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate and Trusts in Los Angeles County, California. We can help change the executor in your case. Call: 818-340-4479 for appointments or email: Info@SirkinLaw.com. We can help in removing and replacing an executor in Los Angeles County, Woodland Hills, Glendale & Pasadena.