Removing the Personal Representative of an Estate

In this article, we’re talking about removing the personal representative of an estate. This is another type of estate litigation that involves probate. Estate litigation is any type of litigation that involves probate, trusts, and wills.

The Gormley Law Office is an experienced probate law firm that handles all things probate in Washington, DC, and Maryland. We’re here to help, and the consultation is free! Call us today!

A person may want to remove a personal representative for several reasons. We’ve represented many heirs who have sued to have a personal representative removed, and in most situations, the personal representative is removed because they aren’t discharging their duties as personal representative in the proper way.

The role of personal representative (sometimes called executor or administrator) is a fiduciary role, and that means the person has a responsibility to the heirs or beneficiaries to follow the terms of the will or trust document and also state laws.

A personal representative’s responsibilities include safeguarding the assets of the estate, managing the estate in a prudent manner, and making sure the assets are distributed to the heirs or legatees.

Breaches of fiduciary duty are serious matters, and they make the personal representative potentially liable to the estate’s heirs caused by the breach. That means the personal representative could be personally responsible for any irresponsible breaches of their duties.

Some examples of conduct that could warrant the removal of a personal representative include:

1)         Taking money or assets from the estate for personal use;

2)         Mismanaging assets through bad decisions or risky investments;

3)         Not following state laws as they relate to transfers.

This is not an exhaustive list, and there are many other possibilities that could result in the removal of the personal representative. If you’re a personal representative or considering whom you will appoint to serve in your estate, we’ll share more on how to stay out of trouble in our next post.

© Copyright Gormley Law Office 2024

Probate, Estate Planning and Real Estate Attorney
Brian Gormley, Esq. is an attorney licensed in Maryland and the District of Columbia specializing in real estate, probate, estate litigation and other matters. If you need assistance, please use the Contact Feature at the bottom of this page.
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