Convincing a Judge to Remove a Trustee, Executor or Agent
The judge can remove a Trustee, Executor or Agent only if they hear the proper and convincing evidence. As a petitioner, you must provide the judge evidence in the form of documents and testimony. Gathering this evidence requires depositions, expert witnesses such as accountants, interrogatories, witness interviews, subpoenaed documents and evidence presented following the Rules of Evidence and subject to the Trustee, Executor or Agent’s objections. Our experienced Will and Estate Litigation Attorney will walk you through every step of this complicated journey.
Our Experience Saves You Money
Judges take the removal of a Trustee, an Executor or an Agent under Power of Attorney seriously, and will only accept evidence if your team has followed proper procedures. Further, Trustees, Executors and Agents are free to use Estate funds to defend themselves. If not countered by an experienced attorney, the fiduciary can use procedural steps to draw out the process and increase costs. An experienced Attorney can assess the situation and help avoid pitfalls and save you money.
Reasons to Remove a Trustee, Executor or Agent
Every case is different, but here are some common reasons for Agent Removal.
- Friction Between Co-Agents.
- Failure to Comply with Power of Attorney Terms.
- Non-Cooperation with a Vital Party.
- Non-Compliance with an Order to File a Formal Account.
- Asset Neglect or Mismanaging.
- Abuse of Discretion.
- Misappropriation of Funds.
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty.
- The Agent is Insolvent or Otherwise Unfit.
- The Agent has Become Incapacitated.
- The Agent’s Failure to Act.
- Excessive Agent Fees and Expenses.
- The Agent is Under Undue Influence.
- Conflict of Interest.
How to Remove a Trustee, Executor or Agent
If an interested party (usually a beneficiary) believes that a Trustee, Executor or Agent has committed acts requiring removal they can hire a Will and Estate Litigation Attorney to petition for that fiduciary’s removal. Often this process is accompanied by a petition for Guardianship. Further, if the Trustee, Executor or Agent’s wrongful act has damaged the Estate, the Attorney can also Petition to force the Trustee, Executor or Agent to file a Formal Account. In this process, the Wills and Estate Litigation Lawyer can obtain an order allowing discovery. This allows the lawyer to depose the fiduciary, subpoena evidence, obtain records and interview witnesses.
If the Trustee, Executor or Agent’s behavior remains unaltered and damage remains uncorrected to the interested person’s satisfaction, the judge will hold a hearing. At this hearing, A lawyer will present the evidence gathered, using the court’s Rules of Evidence and Procedure. If after hearing all the evidence the judge finds that grounds exist for removal, the judge can order the fiduciary’s removal and surcharge the fiduciary for damages.
Experienced, With Reasonable Prices, We Will Fight For You
If you need to remove a Trustee, an Executor or an Agent our experienced Will and Estate Litigation Attorney will make it easy for you to understand and provide top notch representation so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family. Contact us for a free consultation!