When someone creates a will in California, they must name a man, woman, or sometimes a bank or a trust company to carry out their wishes or provisions of their will, among other tasks. However, there are circumstances where the beneficiaries or other people with a vested interest in the deceased’s estate can petition to remove the executor if they are not happy with their services. The court will consider the following grounds.
Failure to timely administer the estate
In California, the Probate Code requires that the executor files a petition for probate within 30 days of the testator’s death. Although it is known that the probate process is complex and can take a very long time, the executor should not elongate the process further by ignoring their duties.
If this happens, you can file a petition to remove them in probate litigation. But first, the court will give them a deadline to meet in accomplishing their duties. If they do, they will likely not be removed. But if they don’t, removal can be effectuated.
Failure to maintain accurate records
The executor is tasked with maintaining accurate records throughout the probate process. This includes keeping track of all expenses, income, debts and assets related to the estate. They must also keep beneficiaries updated on the status of the probate proceedings. If you can show that the executor has not been keeping accurate records or has not been updating beneficiaries, you may have grounds for removal.
Not following the terms of the will
If an executor deviates from what is laid out in writing, they can be removed. For example, if the will states that certain property must go to specific people and the executor tries to sell it off, you may have grounds to remove them.
Generally, executors must always act in the best interest of the beneficiaries and the estate as a whole. If they seem dishonest, unethical, or do anything that can jeopardize the wishes of the deceased, you can file a petition to remove them.