How can I go about having my infirm stepmother dismissed as executor of my father’s estate and getting myself appointed instead?

UPDATED: Jun 28, 2014

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How can I go about having my infirm stepmother dismissed as executor of my father’s estate and getting myself appointed instead?

My dad left his house and 6 acres to me and my brother, with the exception that my stepmother could live in the house until she passed or “voluntarily” vacated the premises. She has moved to another state to be with her daughter and has been gone for 8 months. Word has it that Social Services stepped in and said she could no longer live alone. The Will states that if m stepmother for some reason fails to qualify or serve as executor, I will be appointed. My stepmother’s daughter is handling all affairs and I’ve tried to reasonable talk to her about getting back our family home.

Asked on June 28, 2014 under Estate Planning, South Carolina


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation that has arisen.  It is hard to help in this type of forum without being able to read the documents in question.  Is the estate still open?  Once it closes she is no longer the executor and the property should have been transferred by deed listing her as a life estate tenant. If it is still open then by all means seek to have her removed and you appointed in her place but you need grounds - solid grounds - for that fight.  The Life Estate Tenant has the obligation to take care of the premises during her lifetime. If she can no longer take care of herself then you have an opening for the court.  If they consider what happens her vacating voluntarily then the life estate is over as well.  It can be terminated in a formal agreement between the tenant and remaindermen (you guys) but if she is not competent then that is not an option.  Please go and speak with an attorney in your area.  Good luck.

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