Removing a Personal Representative from a Pompano Beach Probate
The Personal Representative, is supposed to perform their duties and always act in the estate’s best interest and beneficiaries. What happens when this person is not doing their job? In some cases, they made genuine mistakes while other times they are acting intentionally. Either way, it’s still a breach of their fiduciary duty and can be grounds for them to be removed. If you are an interested party and concerned the Personal Representative is not acting in the estate’s best interest, you need to contact a Pompano Beach estate & trust litigation attorney.
Conditions that Warrant Removal of a Personal Representative
Under Florida probate law, several reasons justify the removal of a Personal Representative. If there are questions about the person’s mental or physical incapacity, it will prevent them from adequately doing their job.
Other conditions and circumstances that can lead to petitioning to have the Personal Representative removed include:
- Prior felony conviction;
- Not complying with a Court order;
- Corporate Personal Representative is insolvent;
- Revocation of the Will that named the personal representative;
- Wasting estate assets;
- Not completing the estate accounting;
- Removal of domicile from Florida (if that was required of initial appointment);
- Not posting bond; or
- Conflict of interest that could interfere with estate administration.
In most cases, the reason for removal is the maladministration or wasting of the estate. Failure to properly administer the estate means potential harm to the assets.
How to Remove a Personal Representative
If you believe the Personal Representative is breaching their fiduciary duty, it’s imperative to analyze the situation before rushing into formal action. You will need to present evidence during the proceedings.
Only interested parties can apply to have a Personal Representative removed. If you qualify and have the necessary evidence, you start by filing a Petition for Removal in the same probate court where the pending estate administration is filed. It falls under the umbrella of the estate administration, and it is known as adversary proceedings. The same probate court judge will usually handle the adversary proceedings as well.
Can You Recover Attorney Fees and Costs?
Understandably, you want to know whether attorney fees and costs are recoverable in an action to have the Personal Representative removed. While you can ask for them, recovery is not guaranteed. Costs can be awarded to the prevailing party in these situations, but it is not granted in every case. In cases where the Courts have awarded fees, they are typically paid from the estate’s assets.
Once the Personal Representative is removed, they have to immediately turn over estate assets to the newly named Personal Representative or remaining one.
Contact a Florida Probate Litigation Attorney
Removing a Personal Representative from a Florida probate administration is a complicated legal process. Do not attempt to pursue a matter like this on your own, let a skilled Pompano Beach probate litigation attorney assist you. Contact Mark R. Manceri, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.