I'm a beneficiary of an estate in Arkansas that is under heavy neglect by the executor who resides in Arkansas. I live in Washington State which is extremely far away. I wish to have the executor removed and want to file such a petition, but don't want to have to travel to Arkansas for anything. How may I achieve removing him without the extreme travel? May I appear by phone and if sho wil that likely severely reduce the chances of success? Thanks
Some courts allow you to appear by phone, but that is not the key to answering your question. If the executor is unrepresented by counsel and you believe you have a slam dunk argument and if you can appear by telephone, and if the amount in question is modest and you do not mind if you lose, THEN you can try to handle this on your own. (That is a lot of IFs). If the answer is not clear, then you should retain an attorney to assist you. That sends a message to the judge that you deem this matter seriously enough to take appropriate legal action. Doing otherwise is liable to get the judge frustrated and upset with YOU, which would diminish your chances of prevailing.
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If you have an attorney in Arkansas, ask the attorney. If you dont, you really should. If you dont plan on hiring one, call the court and find out if you can appear by phone. If not, you or an attorney need to appear on your behalf. Note, your question on phone appearance is a good one. Some judges dont like them. Also, if there are a lot a factual issues, those wont be resolved at the initial hearing. Again, you should contact a local attorney for assistance and representation.
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Attorney Shultz is correct. If you retain an experienced estate attorney in Arkansas (as you should), then the attorney can appear at all hearings on your behalf. Not only that, but he or she will give you the best chance at success in removing the existing estate fiduciary. Good luck to you.
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