Beneficiaries of a will can attempt to remove the executor of an estate by hiring an attorney and filing a complaint with the probate court, explains AllLaw. Each state has its own estate laws, so the acceptable legal grounds for removal and the process the beneficiaries must follow differs from state to state.
Most states make it difficult for beneficiaries to remove an executor, notes New Jersey Probate. For example, in New Jersey, the beneficiaries must file a Complaint for Accounting with the probate court to remove an executor, and it must prove serious wrongdoing. Acts such as moving too slowly, refusing to give out information or being generally uncooperative are not grounds for removal.
Typically, courts require beneficiaries to prove the executor is dishonest or seriously incompetent, states AllLaw. Actions that fall under this heading include using estate funds for personal expenses, grossly mismanaging estate property, not complying with a court order and failing to account for estate assets. Courts generally agree to remove an executor who is convicted of a felony or becomes unable to perform the duties of the position. A substantial conflict of interest that prevents the executor from performing as a fiduciary for the state has also been grounds for removal in some state courts.