You and your sibling both want to take a primary role in your parents’ estate plan. You feel that you have more education, time and money to help them settle the estate when the time comes. Your sibling thinks that they should be the executor, because they want to be in control of making sure your parents’ wishes are understood and carried out.
The problem is that your parents have assigned your uncle to be the executor, and both of you disagree with that decision. He has said before that you and your sister shouldn’t get anything out of the estate. He isn’t friendly to you and is clearly biased.
Both of you agree that you want to have an impartial executor in place. You don’t think your uncle is a good choice, because he isn’t particularly good with money, is unfair to you and your sister, and has a history of making bad decisions. What should you do?
If you’re concerned about the executor of the will, talk to your attorney about replacing them
If you are truly worried that your uncle will mismanage the estate or use the estate’s funds in a way that isn’t best for the beneficiaries or the estate itself, talk to your attorney. Your attorney can talk to you about what an executor can or cannot do and what you can do if you believe that your uncle is not competent enough for the role.
What can’t an executor do?
An executor is the fiduciary to the estate, and they must act in the best interests of the estate all the time. Executors are not supposed to conduct affairs of the estate to benefit themselves, especially if they are also beneficiaries listed in the estate.
If there is a conflict of interests, the court does have the power to address the issues. If you want to get your uncle removed as the executor, you will need to prove that he had engaged in misconduct or was incompetent. Misconduct may come in various forms, from failing to pay debts to paying for personal expenses out of the estate’s funds.
Overall, if you and your sibling agree that your uncle should not be the executor, it’s time to collect evidence to submit to the court. If there is enough evidence, you may be able to get him removed and to have an impartial executor established instead.