Removal of a Personal Representative

In Maryland, a personal representative shall be removed from office upon a finding by the court that he:

 (1) Misrepresented material facts in the proceedings leading to his appointment;

(2) Willfully disregarded an order of the court;

(3) Is unable or incapable, with or without his own fault, to discharge his duties and powers effectively;

(4) Has mismanaged property;

(5) Has failed to maintain on file with the register a currently effective designation of an appropriate local agent for service of process; or

(6) Has failed, without reasonable excuse, to perform a material duty pertaining to the office.

Even if there exists cause for removal for failure to perform a material duty pertaining to the office, the court may continue the personal representative in office if it finds that continuance would be in the best interests of the estate and would not adversely affect the rights of interested persons or creditors.

A hearing shall be conducted by the court prior to the removal of a personal representative. The hearing may be held on the motion of the court, on motion of the register, or on written petition of an interested person. Notice of the hearing shall be given by the register to all interested persons. After notice has been given to the personal representative, he may exercise only the powers of a special administrator as permitted by § 6-403 of the Estates and Trusts Article.

Concurrently with the removal of a personal representative, the court shall appoint a successor personal representative or a special administrator.

A personal representative who is removed from office shall account for and immediately deliver the property belonging to the estate to his successor or special administrator.

 

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In Maryland, is it possible to challenge or change the terms of a Will or Codicil after someone’s death?

An interested person may file caveat proceedings to challenge a particular Will or Codicil on various grounds, including lack of testamentary capacity at the time the document was executed, undue influence or fraud. There are strict time limits which apply to filing such proceedings and formal procedures must be followed. It is generally advisable to obtain legal counsel for such matters.