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In California, how do you remove the executor of an estate?

| Mar 3, 2021 | Estate Planning |

The executor of a person’s estate holds a position of significant authority. A person who serves in that capacity is expected to act in a way that is responsible, honest, trustworthy and reliable. The duties of an executor may include carrying out instructions described in the deceased’s will, interacting with beneficiaries, maintaining accurate financial records and safeguarding the deceased’s assets.

There may be times, however, when an executor does not manage their responsibilities in an appropriate manner. Grounds for removal of an executor, according to California law, can include the following:

  • Mismanagement, fraud or other unlawful actions
  • Incompetence
  • Neglecting an estate or the tasks associated with being its executor
  • Removal of an executor is required for the benefit of the estate or to protect people connected with it
  • Being in contempt of a court order
  • Other reasons that are stated in applicable statutes

How to remove an executor

If one of these situations arises, the process to remove the executor of an estate can then be set in motion. An “interested person” can present information to the court that indicates the executor deserves to be removed. That individual may also ask the court to appoint someone to replace the executor.

The executor in question may receive a citation from the court permitting them to show cause as to why their removal is not warranted. Others may present evidence in a document showing that the executor should either be removed or remain. If a case for removing the executor has been made to the court’s satisfaction, the executor will be removed from that role.

An experienced attorney can be a useful source of information on wills and probate.

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