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When an Estate Executor Can Be Removed

A person with the legal power to manage someone else’s property is called a fiduciary. This is a special role that comes with many responsibilities. The personal representative of the deceased, whether an executor (appointed by the will) or an administrator (appointed by the court), or a trustee of a trust, is a fiduciary for the beneficiaries. A fiduciary is responsible for proper management of the estate, and does not have the right to get a benefit at the expense of the estate’s beneficiaries. Unfortunately, some fiduciaries don’t perform their fiduciary duties and need to be removed from their position.

Some of the reasons to remove a fiduciary:

  • Financial mismanagement, including errors and bad investments
  • Mismanagement of a business
  • Personally profiting from the fiduciary position
  • Acting against court orders
  • Hiding facts from the court or the beneficiaries
  • Gross inability to work with the beneficiaries

In a fiduciary removal proceeding, the beneficiaries ask the court to appoint a different fiduciary. If the Surrogate’s Court finds fault with the fiduciary, he or she will be removed and possibly forced to make restitution for improper gains. If the fiduciary is removed, the court may replace them with the person who applied for their removal, a closer relative, or the public administrator.

Call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233 and make an appointment to discuss your fiduciary removal proceeding.