In probate law, the role of the executor is of paramount importance. They hold a lot of responsibility for ensuring a will is probated properly and in a timely manner. But there are times when a beneficiary may believe the executor is not properly doing their job. In these cases, does the beneficiary have any options?
The court makes the decision
It’s up to the probate court itself to determine whether an executor is performing their duties or not. If the court sees that the executor is not performing adequately, it can remove them. Sometimes it’s the court which instigates this action but not always – beneficiaries may file a motion to have the executor removed, if they believe the executor is failing.
It’s important to note that, when the court makes such a decision, it’s primary concern is with the estate, rather than the beneficiary who makes the motion to remove an executor. The question the court wants to answer is whether the executor is failing the estate, not just the beneficiary who is displeased.
What justifies removal?
The probate court has broad authority to remove an executor, for many different reasons. Reasons include failing to make an inventory of the estate or doing so incorrectly, neglecting their duty, habitual drunkenness, incompetence or fraudulent actions. This list is not exclusive – if a court determines the executor is acting in any way which is harming the estate, the actions may provide suitable grounds for removal.
If you are a beneficiary and believe an executor should be removed, speak to an attorney who is experienced in Ohio probate law.