Often, a will names 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. Today, we look at some of 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 prove 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 removed and even prosecuted.
Failing to Perform Duties
As the 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. A conflict of interest may occur among spouses or family members who are named as the 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 reasons 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 can not 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.
Other reasons for dismissal
A failure to timely post bond, if required, and being absent from the state of Texas for three consecutive months without permission of the court. Furthermore, an executor can be dismissed if their whereabouts are unknown, or by reason of the fact that they are eluding service.
If you have questions about the ethics of a particular executor in a will, we can help. Our estate attorneys work diligently to help clients plan for the legacy they want to leave behind. We want to make sure that your family is taken care of. Contact us by text today @ 361-648-6888.