How to Remove a Personal Representative

Are you an heir or beneficiary of an estate? Is the Executor (also called a Personal Representative) not fulfilling the duties of that position? Is money missing from the estate? Or are things just not getting done? If any of this is true, then you should probably find out how to remove the Personal Representative or Executor.

When can a Personal Representative be removed?

In Arizona, a person who has an interest in an estate can petition the court to remove the personal representative at any time. However, it is normally best to wait until there is concrete proof of wrongdoing. The court can only remove a personal representative “for cause.” For example, we prefer for there to be actual checks written to the personal representative. Alternatively, there is some other concrete evidence of harm to the estate. The Arizona Statutes at A.R.S. Section 14-3611 (B) lists the following circumstances in which the court can remove a PR:

  • If removal would be in the best interests of the estate.
  • Lying to the court in order to get appointed as personal representative.
  • Disregarding an order of the court.
  • If the PR has become incapable of discharging the duties of that office.
  • Mismanaging the estate. Examples of mismanagement include mixing estate assets with the PR’s personal assets, using the estate’s money or property for personal reasons, failing to sell property, giving away valuable property, failing to get appraisals of valuable items, and not having insurance on the property.
  • Failing to perform any other duty pertaining to that office. The list of duties is extensive. The highlights are included in the Order to Personal Representative.
  • If your deceased loved one expressed wishes about burial or cremation, and the personal representative is ignoring those wishes.

When you ask to remove a personal representative, you will want to ask to appoint a new personal representative pursuant to A.R.S. Section 14-3613. This is called a “successor personal representative.”

You can ask for someone to be put in charge of the estate on a temporary basis pursuant to A.R.S. Section 14-3614. That is typically a licensed fiduciary. The person is called a Special Administrator.

Hire Magellan Law to help you remove the Personal Representative.

Send us a note here or call us at 602-443-4888. Phoenix Attorney Paul Deloughery has handled a lot of these types of cases, and he knows how to get the job done. We look forward to hearing from you!

(This page is not intended as legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you think any of the information on this page is relevant, then you need to talk to a probate litigation attorney. Give us a call at 602-443-4888.)