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3 times families in Kentucky can remove an estate representative

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2024 | Probate |

Whether someone has created a trust or a will as their main estate planning instrument, they likely selected someone they trusted to handle probate matters. Both trust and estate administration can require long-term commitment with minimal compensation.

People often do their best to select representatives that they trust, but their family members may still question their final decisions. Sometimes, it may become necessary to take legal action to remove the personal representative of an estate from their position of authority.

When do the Kentucky probate courts sometimes agree to remove someone from their position as personal representative or trustee?

When they leave the state

If someone permanently moves out of Kentucky, they are no longer in a position to conveniently attend court hearings and manage local property. The probate courts can theoretically remove the representative of an estate who no longer resides in the state and does not intend to return to the state in the near future.

When they file for bankruptcy

Even the most ethical person might engage in inappropriate conduct if they experience a major personal emergency. Significant financial setbacks that force someone to file for bankruptcy might undermine their trustworthiness while they help administer an estate. The probate courts can remove a bankrupt personal representative from their role to prevent the misappropriation of estate resources.

When they lose their capacity

Like the person drafting the documents, the personal representative of an estate needs to understand the impact that those documents could have on others and be capable of making informed, rational decisions. Personal representatives who have experienced profound medical challenges such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may not be capable of fulfilling their obligations to the estate.

The courts can remove representatives who no longer have the capacity to properly manage estate resources and attend court hearings. Frequently, people who theoretically could retain their position fail to do what is necessary for the protection of an estate. The probate courts can also remove someone from their role as personal representative if they have improperly managed resources or failed to fulfill other key obligations related to their position.

When families have questions about the conduct of a personal representative, they may need to consider taking legal action by initiating probate litigation. Seeking the replacement of a personal representative or trustee can potentially help to protect the legacy left by a deceased loved one.