Sometimes someone comes to an estate planning lawyer not because they want to create an estate plan, but because they want to challenge a part of an estate plan, such as the appointment of executor. Executors have the responsibility to manage an estate, and to ensure that it proceeds properly through probate. But executors do not always perform their duties as they should, and removing an executor is sometimes something that beneficiaries want to do. Here are several questions about removing an executor in Grand Forks North Dakota.
What is an executor in Grand Forks North Dakota?
An executor, also known as an estate administrator or personal representative, is someone who manages a deceased person’s estate. When a person creates a last will and testament, that person gets to choose who they want to serve as the estate executor. Once the will is submitted before North Dakota probate court and the court approves the document, it will grant the chosen executor the legal authority to begin settling the estate.
Who can be an executor?
A testator can choose anyone he or she likes to represent the estate. As long as the representative is a capable adult of sound mind who is willing to serve, the choice is entirely up to the testator.
If the beneficiaries of the estate, or those who have an interest in it, do not like the executor, there is often little they can do about it. Having a personal disagreement with the estate administrator or desiring someone else to be in that position is not reason enough to ask the court to remove that person.
What is an executor removal clause?
In some situations a testator will include a clause in his or her last will and testament that states that the beneficiaries can remove the executor under certain conditions. For example, the clause might state that if a majority of the beneficiaries vote to remove the executor, that executor must renounce his or her position and turn over responsibility to the alternate chosen in the will.
When can I ask the court to remove an executor?
In order to have a North Dakota court remove an executor, you must file a petition. In the petition you have to state the basis for your request and be able to provide evidence support your claim. In most situations you can only remove executors if they fail to meet a qualification or are somehow performing their responsibilities inadequately. For example, if the representative has stolen from the estate or has since become incapacitated, you can ask a North Dakota Court to remove that person and name a new estate administrator.