One of the most important decisions a person makes while planning their estate is choosing someone to serve as executor or administrator. Unfortunately, people creating an estate plan may not make the most rational decisions, as their emotional attachment to someone might lead them to overlook their flaws.
The person creating the estate plan wants to believe that their loved ones will uphold their legacy. Sadly, some people are too busy or not organized enough to handle an estate, while others are simply too unethical to handle assets and resources without trying to manipulate the situation for their own benefit.
If you are a beneficiary of an estate and it has become apparent that the executor isn’t capable of performing all the necessary tasks involved in its administration or if you have a reason to doubt their ethics, you may need to ask the courts to remove them and name someone else as executor.
You need a reason other than dissatisfaction to challenge an executor
The Florida probate courts likely won’t take you very seriously if you don’t have a viable reason for requesting the removal of an executor. For example, being upset about delays in the estate administration process isn’t a reason to challenge an estate, but suspicion that an executor has yet to initiate any important steps could be.
If you can show that they have failed to perform their duties, their inability to follow through with their responsibilities could be reason for the courts to remove them. Additionally, if you can demonstrate that the executor has engaged in unethical behavior such as retaining assets for themselves or otherwise attempting to personally profit from the estate, that could also help convince the courts that a different executor may be better for the estate.
Changing the executor will not change the terms of the estate itself
If your unhappiness with the estate stems from the allocation of assets or other decisions made by the testator, changing the executor won’t change those terms. Whoever the courts appoint as executor when replacing someone named by the testator will have the same obligations as the original executor. They must comply with the terms outlined in the estate plan and state law while doing their best to maximize the value of assets for the estate and its beneficiaries.