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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/23-3: Procedure on Removal

An estate administrator (or executor) has a tremendous amount of responsibility. He (or she) is responsible for managing the assets of a decedent and eventually distributing them to beneficiaries or heirs. Because of this Illinois has strict requirements for who qualifies to be appointed as an estate administrator. Unfortunately, on occasion the administrator’s activities fall short of what is required of an executor. As a result, the court decides that it is necessary to remove the executor from his position and revoke his letters of administration. When this happens there is a procedure on removal that must be followed. If you are an interested party and you have reason to believe that the administrator or executor of the estate of a loved one should be removed, contact a Chicago probate administration lawyer who understand the procedure on removal and how will support you through the process.

Reasons for Removal

If you are an interested party and you are troubled by the actions of the administrator or executor of the estate of a loved one, you have the right to petition the court to remove the administrator. The reasons for petitioning for the removal of an administrator include:

  • Accepting the position under false pretenses
  • Mental incapacity
  • Committing a felony
  • Mismanagement or wasting of estate assets
  • Endangering co-administrator or endangering surety bond
  • Failing to follow order of the court
  • Hiding to avoid service of process
  • Incapable of fulfilling the responsibilities
  • No longer a resident of the United States
  • Any other good cause for removal

If you are wondering if the actions of an administrator of the estate of a loved one warrants removal, contact an experienced Chicago probate administration lawyer to discuss your concerns. Keep in mind that only interest parties have the legal standing to petition the court to remove an executor. Interested parties generally are limited to beneficiaries, heirs, and fiduciaries as they are the people who have an immediate, direct financial interest in the estate.

Procedural on Removal

The process for removing an administrator starts with the filing of a petition. The court will serve the notice to the administrator asking that he show cause why he should not be removed. If the court determines that there is sufficient cause to remove the administrator, the court will so order. In doing so, the court will revoke the letters of administration. The court must then find someone to replace the removed administrator.

As a probation administration attorney in Chicago will explain, upon removal the former administrator must still file an accounting with the court of all activities completed related to the managing the estate, including details of estate money spent, income to the estate, and distribution of assets.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Resignation: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/23-1
  2. Removal: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/23-2
  3. Letters revoked when will is produced: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/23-4
Illinois Probate Act, Section 23-3- Procedure on Removal

(a) Before removing a representative for any of the causes set forth in Section 23-2, the court shall order a citation to issue directing the respondent to show cause why he should not be removed for the cause stated in the citation. The citation must be served not less than 10 days before the return day designated in the citation and must be served and returned in the manner provided for summons in civil cases. The address recorded by the representative with the clerk of the court shall be considered the place where citations, notices or other process may be served upon him.

(b) If (1) the petitioner or his attorney files in the office of the clerk of the court an affidavit stating that the respondent resides or has gone out of this State, is concealed within this State, or on due inquiry cannot be found so that the citation cannot be served on him, and stating the last known post office address of the respondent or (2) the citation is issued on the court's own motion and is not served on the respondent, the clerk shall prepare a notice which must state the name of the decedent or ward, the number of the case, the name of the person to whom the notice is given, the alleged cause of removal and place of hearing and shall direct the respondent to appear and show cause why he should not be removed. Not less than 15 days before the return day designated in the notice, the clerk of the court shall send by registered mail one copy of the notice to the respondent at his last known post office address as stated in the affidavit if one is filed, one copy of the notice to the respondent at his last known post office address as shown by the last document filed in the court in which he stated his post office address and one copy of the notice to his attorney of record.

(c) The representative whose removal is sought may file a pleading to the petition or charges for removal on or before the return day designated in the citation or notice or within such further time as the court permits. If on the hearing the court finds that he should be removed for any cause listed in Section 23-2, the court may remove him and revoke his letters.

(d) The court may assess the costs of the proceeding against a representative who is removed for any cause listed in Section 23-2.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are an interested party and believe that the administrator of the estate of a loved one should be removed, there is a procedure that must be followed. To learn how to go about petitioning the court to remove the unfit administrator, immediately contact a skilled probate administration attorney serving Chicago. The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience representing beneficiaries, heirs, and executors on matters related to probate, will challenges, and estate litigation. Contact us at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.

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