Executor has DUI's, is alcoholic, drug addict, and stolen from heirs. Can the heirs ask them to volunarily remove themselves as Executor? There are 3 Executors currently and the Will reads the other 2 can act if one fails or ceases to act. But can they resign, and what legal document is needed to remove this person from bank accounts so access is not a invitation to steal from the estate? Thank you.
It can be as simple as a letter stating his resignation. Have it signed and notarized.
It can be as complex as having him removed for cause if he will not resign. You may need to bring an action for a complete and immediate accounting, a surcharge action and an action for removal for cause. For removal for cause, please see my article entitled Pennsylvania Probate: Removal of Personal Representative Under PA Estates and Fiduciary Code at the following link: http://www.sjfpc.com/Probate_Removal_Executor_Trustee_PA_Probate_law.html Even though this relates to PA law most states have similar rules.
You should retain estate counsel to assist you through this process.
Hope this helps.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
While you state that there are three executors to the will, it is more likely that there is one executor and two successor executors. The heirs can ask for the executor for cause and this might go to hearing. In the alternative, the executor can write a formal letter of resignation. The terms of the will should indicate would take over if the original executor is unable or unwilling to act. In the event of removal of of the executor, a court order may be required to change the signatory on bank accounts. If you have any concerns, you should consult with an attorney who is experienced in matters concerning decedent's estates.
An executor can resign at any time, but he or she may still be required to account for actions taken. The resignation would normally be submitted to the court so that the letters of office issued to the executor can be revoked and new letters in the name of a new executor could be issued. You should consult a probate attorney.