Legal Memorandum: Removal of an Independent Administrator in LA

Issue: Under what circumstances may an independent administrator be removed for mismanagement of an estate?

Area of Law: Estate Planning & Probate
Keywords: Independent administrator; Mismanagement of an estate; Remove from office
Jurisdiction: Louisiana
Cited Cases: 975 So. 2d 53
Cited Statutes: LSA-C.C.P. art. 3396.20
Date: 03/01/2013

An independent administrator may be removed by a court upon the motion of any interested party, after a contradictory hearing, for any of the reasons for which a succession representative may be removed from office.  LSA-C.C.P. art. 3396.20.  A succession representative may be removed if he or she “is or has become disqualified, has become incapable of discharging the duties of [the] office, has mismanaged the estate, [or] has failed to perform any duty imposed by law or by order of court.”  Id. art. 3182.  “Mismanagement” of an estate “connotes the commission of an act or the omission of a duty which redounds to the detriment of the estate.”  In re Succession of Houssiere, 247 La. 764, 174 So. 2d 521, 524 (1964)

See In re Succession of Brazan, 07-566 (La. App. 5th Cir. 12.27/2007), 975 So. 2d 53, 57 (“Clearly the sale of the stock occurred before decedent died, thus [executrix’s] actions in the sale of the stock was not an act as administrator of the estate.”).

A similar situation was before the court in Fernandez v. Hebert, 2006-1558 (La. App. 1st Cir. 5/4/07), 961 So. 2d 404, writ denied, 2007-1123 (La. 9/21/07), 964 So.2d 333.  There the plaintiff challenged two inter vivos donations executed by the defendant, Badeaux, on behalf of the decedent before her death pursuant to a power of attorney.  Each donation involved the transfer of stock to Badeaux and his siblings.  The plaintiff residuary legatee sought a declaration the transfers were null […]

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