The personal representative of a Colorado estate oversees the probate process. They have to secure and distribute assets that once belonged to the decedent. They may orchestrate an estate sale or pay off someone’s credit card debts.
There’s a lot of work involved in estate administration, and families typically expect that personal representatives fulfill their duties as outlined by both state law and the documents created by the testator. Unfortunately, sometimes the person who seeks out the role of personal representative or the person named by the testator or the courts does not do their job well. Other times, they might embezzle from the estate or let their personal relationships dictate how they fulfill their duties.
Family members and estate beneficiaries may feel as though they need to remove a personal representative who has done their job poorly. What must families do to remove the representative of a Colorado estate?
Take the matter to probate court
Occasionally, if the people expecting to inherit from an estate discuss their disappointment with the personal representative, they may change their conduct. Other times, they might agree to step down from their position. However, if someone has abused their authority, they may try to hold on to it despite the complaints of others. It may become necessary for the beneficiaries or family members of the deceased to take the matter to the Colorado probate courts. To do so, they need evidence of misconduct, mismanagement of estate resources or incompetence that diminished the value of the estate.
Provided that they do have evidence supporting their allegations that the personal representative has not properly fulfilled their responsibilities, the courts can remove the representative of the estate and appoint a replacement or successor representative. The personal representative also has an opportunity to present evidence, such as documentation explaining why they conducted transactions in a particular way. Litigation to remove a personal representative can add months to the total probate timeline and diminish the value of the estate by consuming some of its resources to pay for court costs.
Understanding what the removal of a personal representative entails may help those concerned about the status of an estate make the best decision given their circumstances.