When an individual passes away, an executor is designated to oversee the administration of the estate and the distribution of assets. In some cases, the executor cannot or does not fulfill his or her duties appropriately. In these cases, beneficiaries may seek to remove the executor provided they have grounds under Texas estate law. Here are some of the more common reasons beneficiaries seek the removal of an executor during estate administration:
- Timeliness: An executor is charged with administering the estate in a timely manner. Some executors do not fully grasp the importance of timeliness in the administration process. Typically, an executor who is dragging their feet will be given a schedule by the court. If the schedule is not adhered to, a removal may be necessary.
- Accurate record keeping: Maintaining records that are detailed and accurate is one of the main duties have an executor. If an executor is unable to present documents showing an accounting of the estate at the request of beneficiaries, the beneficiaries may be able to replace this person with a more contentious executor.
- Misplacement or theft of assets: Executors have a duty to keep all assets in accounts designated for the estate. Some may mistakenly place assets in their own accounts for temporary safekeeping, not understanding the importance of keeping things separate. Others may have more malicious intent and steal assets outright. In either case, but especially if theft is involved, an executor can be removed by the court.
These are only some of the reasons an executor may be removed from their position. Other reasons include bias for or against one of or more beneficiaries, criminal history pertinent to the executorship, or negligence in caring for properties within the estate. Beneficiaries who wish to seek the removal of an executor can start the process by speaking with a Texas estate planning attorney.