Choosing the executor for your New York estate is a critical piece of estate planning. You want to make sure that you have selected trustworthy individuals to handle your affairs at the time of your passing.

What is an executor?

Estate planning involves the preparation of documents that determine how your estate will be administrated at the time of your death. The executor is the individual who is responsible for shepherding the estate through probate. If an executor is not named specifically within the last will and testament, the probate court may assign one.

Grounds for removing an executor

An executor is expected to handle the estate in a way that benefits the heirs and beneficiaries to the estate without any ulterior motives. However, situations can arise with interested parties may wish to have an executor removed. The following are considered grounds for removal of an executor:

• Incompetence
• Removal of assets from the estate
• Dishonesty about the decedent’s affairs or their estate
• Noncompliance with the will’s terms
• Failure to notify the court of an address change

Who can petition for removal of an executor?

Only those individuals who stand to either gain or lose money based on the disposition of the estate can file a petition to remove an executor. Typically, these are beneficiaries of the will or creditors.

Other considerations

In some cases, a change in executor will be required because the named executor refuses the duties. This could be because, in some circumstances, the executor of the estate could be held personally and financially liable for any losses, such as to creditors.

Families should be aware that the deceased’s creditors have an interest in the estate, and if they are not getting paid, they may file to have the executor removed. For this reason alone, the executor is a crucial decision when planning your estate.