If you feel like an estate representative in Florida is not performing their duties or risking the estate’s assets, then you need to remove them. Here’s how you can do it.
Convincing probate court judge to remove an executor
A judge won’t just remove an executor or estate representative because you don’t like them. You must have a compelling reason for them to consider taking this course of action. You will need to gather and present evidence, following Florida 2021 Statutes Section 736.0706, to support your position. This includes documents, witness testimonies, interviews and other proofs of fiduciary breach.
Grounds for removing an executor in Florida
In Florida, you can remove an executor if they become incapacitated and can no longer perform the duties of the job. This could be due to physical or mental illness, addiction, or old age.
In addition, an estate representative has a legal duty to act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries. If you believe they are not fulfilling that duty, you can file with the court to remove them.
If the estate representative violates court orders, they can be held in contempt of court, triggering removal. For example, you can file a petition to oust them when they fail to provide you or other beneficiaries with the required information or documents you are entitled to during the probate process.
The process of removing an executor
- File a petition with the court – This petition must state the grounds for removal and include any supporting evidence.
- Serve the executor with the petition and notice of hearing – You must serve the estate representative with a copy of the petition with a notice of hearing stating the date, time and location of the place where probate litigation will occur.
- Attend the hearing – You will need to present your evidence and arguments to the judge at the hearing. They will then decide whether to remove the executor. If the judge decides to depose the executor, they will issue an order stating that the executor is removed from their duties.
Judges in Florida take executor removal seriously. Therefore, to succeed in this endeavor, you’ll need to gather sufficient evidence following proper procedures according to Florida laws.