An executor in Arkansas is an integral part of the probate process. Without an executor, the estate would be left in limbo, and no one would be able to take care of the deceased’s affairs. And therefore, they must be willing to do their job with beneficiary interests as their priority and be competent, organized and detail-oriented. If your executor seems lacking in one or more of these qualities, you may be able to remove them.
Duties of an executor
An executor is an individual or financial institution that is responsible for managing the estate of a deceased person, ensuring that their debts are paid and that their assets are distributed according to the terms of their will. And so their duties can be divided into two categories: financial and personal.
Financial responsibilities include paying bills, taxes and debts; managing investments; and distributing assets. Personal responsibilities include dealing with the deceased’s belongings, arranging for funeral and burial services, handling correspondence and dealing with family members.
Grounds for removing an executor
The grounds for removal of an executor in Arkansas are set forth in Arkansas Code Annotated section 28-41-101. The executor can be removed if they are:
- Convicted of a felony
- Incapacitated or otherwise found by the court to be unable to perform their duties
- Neglectful or are refusing to perform their duties
- Wasting or mismanaging estate assets
Removing an executor
The first step is filing a petition with the probate court in the county where the deceased person resided at the time of their death. The petition must state the grounds on which you are seeking removal and must be served to the executor. The executor will then have an opportunity to respond to the petition, and a hearing will be scheduled. At the hearing, the court will decide whether or not to remove the executor based on the evidence presented.
If the executor is removed, the court will appoint a successor executor to take their place. The successor executor will have all of the same powers and duties as the original executor and will be responsible for finishing the administration of the estate.