Is it Possible to Have a Personal Representative Removed?

Is it Possible to Have a Personal Representative Removed?

As someone planning an estate, it is important you put the proper time and thought into the selection of the best possible personal representative for your estate. Your chosen representative should be someone without conflicts of interest in your estate matters, who is capable of handling all the various tasks associated with the position, who is an excellent communicator, who is organized and who will be capable of handling any potential personality clashes that may occur in the aftermath of your death.

It can become very problematic for your loved ones and heirs if you name a personal representative is not up to the task. For example, sometimes a family member who is appointed feels entitled.  Sometimes, they assume an attitude that as the appointed person, they are in charge and resent being questioned about what they do.  That is exactly the wrong attitude to take as a fiduciary who owes all his or her duties to the beneficiaries.  Unfortunately, while that kind of attitude often leads to costly disputes, it rarely is enough to remove that personal representative in favor of a more service-minded one.

Removal of a personal representative

There are some circumstances in which it may be possible to remove a personal representative from the position, but it is never an easy proposition. Your loved ones must be able to prove there is some serious misbehavior, wrongdoing or incompetence on the part of that representative. Beneficiaries must be able to clearly prove to the probate court that the representative is unable to perform the duties of the position, is generally unsuitable for the position or has become disqualified somehow to serve in the role since being appointed to it.

The personal representative will then have the opportunity to defend themselves in court and argue why they should not be removed from the position, if the court determines the claim filed by the beneficiaries is valid.

For more information about the processes associated with removal of a personal representative, contact an experienced Tampa estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.