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Can a Fiduciary Be Discharged from their Duties in NJ?

Apr 29 2018

Written by Jason C. Henbest, Esq. and Brittany Saxton


Fairly recent New Jersey law, approved August 7, 2017, updates the process in which a fiduciary may be discharged—or dismissed from carrying out their duties—in a particular case. General Assembly Bill A-1955, which was submitted and reviewed by the Senate as S-1795, provides for the voluntary discharge of personal representatives overseeing estates through an application to the Surrogate’s Court. 

This law generally provides that a fiduciary may be discharged when filing a complaint or application to the court if the fiduciary was appointed by the court. The court will likely grant the discharge if they find sufficient cause.  In finding sufficient cause, there must be no prejudice to the estate or people involved in the matter.  Likely, a fiduciary would seek to be discharged if they are unwilling or unable to perform the duties and powers of a personal representative.

There are certain steps a fiduciary must take in order to be discharged. First, the fiduciary must provide the court with the written intent to resign. Second, the fiduciary must provide the court a copy of the governing instrument which authorizes the fiduciary's resignation. Third, the fiduciary must prove compliance with the terms in the governing instrument. Finally, the fiduciary must prove that they have served written notice of intent to resign on all co-fiduciaries and all parties to the estate or trust at least twenty (20) days prior to the filing with the court.

For more information on this law, or the voluntary discharge of personal representatives overseeing estates, contact your local estate planning attorney, today. 


Barnegat Lawyer | Voluntary Discharge | Personal Representative | Estate Planning