It may be possible for a beneficiary or person with an interest in an estate to remove an executor/estate trustee by court order.
It is not uncommon for beneficiaries to become impatient or frustrated with the individual entrusted to administer the estate or trust. However, the court will not lightly interfere with a testator’s choice of executor/trustee. An applicant must adduce strong evidence that the estate trustee’s removal is necessary for the welfare of the beneficiaries and/or the estate. Generally speaking, the estate trustee’s acts or omissions must be of such a nature as to endanger the administration of the estate or trust.
Common grounds for removal include: misconduct by the estate trustee, pre-taking of compensation, mismanagement of assets, undue delays, an inability or unwillingness to carry out the terms of the trust, inability of multiple trustees to make decisions together, conflict of interest, and/or the estate trustee’s incapacity, criminal conviction, bankruptcy or transfer outside of the jurisdiction. This is not an exhaustive list. de VRIES LITIGATION has significant experience with court applications to remove trustees in a variety of circumstances.