Removing a Personal Representative

Following the death of a family member or loved one, you will have to manage your grief and complicated emotions.  There are also procedural and property issues to deal with, and if the deceased had minor children, things can get even more complicated.  The personal representative is the person appointed during the probate case to gather the assets, pay the debts, and deal with these procedural issues.  In the vast majority of cases, the personal representative works hard to make sure that the affairs are put in order in accordance with the wishes of the deceased and Minnesota law.  Unfortunately, there may be some cases when removing a personal representative may be necessary.

Minnesota statute 524.3-611 addresses the issue of removing a personal representative from his or her court ordered position of authority.  The law provides that a person interested in the estate may petition for removal of the personal representative for cause at any time.  An “interested person” means a person who stands to benefit from the will, would benefit if the will were set aside, or creditors.  In other words, someone with a monetary interest in the estate.  The statute also provides that notice of the request for removal must be provided to the personal representative and to other people the court orders.  The court will then have a hearing to determine if the allegations in the petition requesting removal are founded.

Subsection b of the statute addresses what reasons a court may consider to be appropriate cause for removal of a personal representative. The statute lists several different reasons.  One reason is if the personal representative or those who requested the appointment of the current personal representative made any material misrepresentations of fact and those misrepresentations resulted in the appointment.  A personal representative can also be removed if the personal representative has disobeyed the orders from the probate court.  The most common reason that removal is sought is an allegation that the personal representative has mismanaged the estate.  This can mean not only that a personal representative has intentionally engaged in conduct that goes against Minnesota law or the will of the deceased, but also where the negligent acts or failures to act of the personal representative have resulted in damage to the estate.

Call us today at 651-413-9568.  We have extensive experience explaining the rights and responsibilities of the personal representative to our clients