An Estate Attorney Explains Why an Executor Can Be Removed
Wills often name an executor to manage the deceased person’s estate after their passing. Nominating an executor is an important decision because it implies many responsibilities. Sometimes, the executor’s duties are not upheld and various consequences may occur. Previously on the Davidson Law Group blog, we discussed some common mistakes that executors make. Today, we take a look at the specific reasons why an executor in Texas can be removed.
Under Texas law, you can be removed as the executor of an estate for flagrant misconduct, mismanagement, or theft of the estate’s assets. If enough evidence exists to believe you have stolen money or property under your control, you can be removed. If the Texas Supreme Court can prove that you are guilty of gross misconduct or mismanagement in performing your duties, you may be ousted and even prosecuted.
Failing to Perform Duties
As executor, your required duties include maintaining all bank accounts, paying bills, paying taxes and debts as instructed, determining the beneficiaries, and distributing assets appropriately. Failing to safeguard the property in the estate will result in your removal. Failure to file required court documents on time is also grounds for removal.
Conflicts of Interest
A material conflict of interest is another reason for an executor’s removal and could include misapplication of funds, a breach of fiduciary duty, or self-dealing in estate property. The conflict of interest may occur among spouses or family members who are named as executor and/or beneficiaries. For example, if the executor has moved into the house, the estate’s only asset, and has not tried to sell it, a complaint may arise.
In the absence of demonstrable misconduct or conflicts of interest, personal disputes between beneficiaries and the executor are not sufficient reason for removal. The probate can remove a Texas executor only for specific reasons that must be proven by beneficiaries.
The term incapacity refers to the mental or physical inability to manage legal and financial affairs. It also means legal disqualification. An executor can be removed if they are incapacitated and cannot perform their duties. A court may consider an executor legally incapacitated if they are suffering from dementia or have an illness that prevents them from performing their duties. If an executor is convicted and sentenced to jail, they are considered incapable of serving as executor under Texas law.
Contact an Estate Attorney at Davidson Law Group
If you have been requested to be an executor of a will, let Davidson Law Group help. Our estate attorneys specialize in helping clients plan for the legacy they want to leave behind. We want to make sure that your family is taken care of. Contact one of our estate attorneys today.