Unfit Personal Representative
If you believe that someone appointed to serve in the role of executor is not carrying out his or her legal responsibility, you need to schedule a consultation with a Pennsylvania unfit personal representative lawyer. A Pennsylvania unfit personal representative attorney will help guide you through the process of attempting to get this person moved from the case.
The sooner that you begin to gather evidence and share it with an experienced unfit personal representative attorney in Philadelphia, the easier it will be for you to proceed with this case and to protect your best interest. A personal representative is officially appointed by the court or named in the estate planning documents to handle a deceased person's probate. This person bears enormous responsibility, both in terms of carrying out the tasks, as well as holding a fiduciary responsibility to the beneficiaries of the estate.
Statutes in Pennsylvania allow those who have been harmed to retain legal services and to move forward with a lawsuit, but only when the person bringing the legal action can show that the relevant party broke some rule associated with fiduciary duty. Those appointed in this role do have a legal responsibility to those entitled to receive funds from the estate.
Some of the tasks carried out by the personal representative include handling final business affairs, transferring the deceased person's property, handling debts and taxes, and notifying creditors and heirs. An unfit personal representative, however, can expose recipients of the estate's assets to significant losses and this can lead to a lawsuit brought forward by a beneficiary. There are many different reasons why the court might consider removing and replacing a personal representative on someone's case.
An unfit personal representative attorney in Pennsylvania will help you determine whether or not the evidence you have already gathered indicates that a person has breached his or her fiduciary duty or has otherwise made a mistake. Multiple mistakes can form the basis of a removal of an executor hearing, including neglect of the estate, incompetency, removal from the state of the estate, embezzlement of funds, mismanagement of the estate, and breach of a fiduciary duty. Non-fault reasons can also lead to a fiduciary being removed as well, such as that person passing away or becoming seriously ill.
A personal representative is eligible to act without the court's approval. However, he or she is required to keep the court updated about their progress by filing necessary documents.
If an interested person, meaning a beneficiary to the estate, is unsatisfied and believes that the personal representative is unfit because he or she has breached fiduciary duty or because this person has failed to live up to expectations or has become mentally incapacitated, this can lead to a beneficiary asking for supervised administration, petitioning the court to remove the personal representative, or simply bringing these concerns up in court. The court is then responsible for scheduling a hearing on the petition, and the petitioner has to give official notice about this hearing to the personal representative. A person who is asked to serve in this role might have to post bond in order to cover potential issues with his or her service.
A petitioner is also eligible to petition the court for a temporary restraining order to stop that personal representative from carrying out particular acts. If you are significantly concerned about a personal representative's behavior, it is in your best interest to schedule a consultation directly with an experienced lawyer who can help you if you are not sure how to proceed and you need to protect your interest, as well as the interest of other beneficiaries.