last will and testament

A family member may not always be interested in taking on the job of being an executor and administering the estate.

Since people usually like appointing an executor that they know and trust, they often name a family member or friend to the post. Sometimes when those appointed as executors are informed of the decision, they aren’t interested in taking on the job.

The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog recently wrote about what happens in such cases in “What Happens When A Person Refuses To Serve As An Executor?“.

If a person learns that he or she has been designated to be an executor while the will testator is still alive, then the solution is simple. He or she should ask the testator to create a new will and name someone else to the position.

What if the testator has already died?

The process is a little more complicated, but not much. The named executor should submit the will to probate and then formally file a request to be relieved from the duties.

Thereafter, if another person is not named as a successor executor in the will, then the probate court will appoint someone. The law does not force anyone to act as an executor if they do not want to do so.

These situations can and should be avoid entirely. Ask the person (and any successors), before you sign your will, if they would be willing to serve.

Speak with an estate planning attorney who can guide you through the process and perhaps help with your decision on naming an executor.

Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (Jan. 8, 2016) “What Happens When A Person Refuses To Serve As An Executor?

For more information on asset preservation and estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.