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Can you remove the executor you named in your will?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2022 | Estate And Probate Administration |

Creating your will in California takes a lot of thought, which could make it time-consuming. One of the most important details is choosing an executor who will oversee your estate once you’re gone. Although it doesn’t happen often, you might want to remove them.

Why should you remove an executor?

There are several reasons why you might want to remove the executor you named in your will. If the individual is significantly incompetent, you might come to realize that you made a mistake in choosing them. Or if they agree to all the terms of the position but then change their mind afterward, you would want to eliminate them as executor and choose someone else.

Misconduct of any kind is a huge reason to remove an executor. For example, this can occur when they refuse to comply with or enforce a court order, they have been convicted of a felony, they have misappropriated funds through stealing, are nasty toward beneficiaries or refuse to carry out the terms of the will.

How can an executor be removed?

Because it’s your will, you have the right to decide if the executor should be removed during your lifetime. You can choose someone else to fill the role as you see fit. In order to do that, you would have to have a codicil added to your will or create an entirely new one.

If problems with the executor arise after you’ve passed away, your beneficiaries can have them removed. In this situation, they would have to file a petition with the probate court to remove the executor and name someone new. This could be a lengthy process that might require legal assistance. The estate might have to cover certain costs if so ordered by the court.

If the executor being removed is also a beneficiary, it requires an explanation to justify the move. Documentation might be necessary.