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When can a personal representative be removed?

No one necessarily expects or hopes to face issues during the estate administration process. Unfortunately, sometimes issues can come up during probate that can matter greatly to those involved in the administration of the estate. In certain cases, the work of the personal representative responsible for the estate may be called into question. However, these representatives aren’t easily removed or replaced – it can be necessary to show cause if the representative wishes to continue with the administration process.

So, when can a personal representative be removed for cause — and for what reasons? The answer can be found in the Florida State Statutes — specifically, Section 733.504 — which lays out certain causes for removal. For example, if the personal representative is incapacitated and thus unable to continue working on the estate, the court can remove him or her. This can happen after another court case resulting in such a pronouncement, or a showing of physical or mental incapacitation in relation to the specific duties of a personal representative.

In addition, there are some more sinister reasons that can warrant removal. For example, if the personal representative is wasting the estate, they can be removed through court action. A personal representative also has to obey an order of the court; if they do not, removal could result. If the representative is convicted of a felony of any kind, they could also be removed.

These are just some of the reasons listed in the statutes that can sustain an action to remove a personal representative. Although probate litigation may not be the most appealing prospect, ensuring the appropriate administration of an estate is vital to respecting the decedent’s wishes. If a personal representative is not doing their job, it may be time to take legal action.

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