Some personal representatives are just not up to the task. While the Personal Representative is free to resign at any time, there are times when the heirs and beneficiaries of the estate must take the matter into their own hands when they feel that the Personal Representative is not performing the duties in a proper and legal manner and the estate may suffer a financial loss.
A Personal Representative may need to be removed when they are not mentally competent to make financial decisions or manage the estate assets. Another reason may be that Personal Representative may have breached a fiduciary duty such as receiving personal monetary gain while serving as the Personal Representative of the estate or the Personal Representative may have made a bad business decision causing financial losses to the estate. The Personal Representative may have a committed an illegal act such as embezzlement of estate assets.
Procedure to Remove Miami Personal representative
A formal legal procedure must be filed with the Miami –Dade probate court in order to remove a Personal Representative from their duties. A family member, heir, beneficiary or interested party to an estate may file a petition with the court requesting the removal of the personal representative. The court has the jurisdiction to hear the matter and to decide whether the Personal Representative should be removed as well as the power to appoint a new personal representative. Also, if the court makes a determination that the Personal Representative is guilty and has caused financial loss to the estate or the beneficiaries, the court may order the Personal Representative to reimburse the estate or beneficiaries for the losses.
Common examples of a breach of fiduciary duty:
• A conflict of interest
• Violating a Court order
• Committing a crime such as embezzlement
• Mishandling estate assets and funds
• Making accounting errors or failing to provide an accounting to the beneficiaries and to the court
• Concealing financial or the material information from beneficiaries, heirs, creditors or other interested parties
• Mental incapacity
Since breach of fiduciary duty are complex matters requiring a certain amount of proof, the party filing the proceeding to remove the Personal Representative usually hires a Miami probate and estate attorney to represent them. Care must be taken to select an attorney who is knowledgeable about Miami probate matters and can advise the party initiating the action the best course of action. If you wish to speak to a Miami estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (786) 522-1411.