While you may have initially felt confident enough to take on the role of executor, you may subsequently discover that there is a lot more involved that you thought. You may even feel that the role is far too demanding both in terms of its time requirement and the strains caused by the complexity of the estate. You may even feel that you’ve taken on more than you can cope with and you want to resign as an executor.
The good news is that you don’t have to complete the job even where you have given your prior agreement and/or have been approved by the court. However, there will be some procedural requirements that you must first deal with before you resign as an executor. Given that you took on the role of executor, you cannot simply walk away of your own accord. As a matter of law, once you commence acting as executor, or ‘intermeddle’ in an estate as it’s also called, you are responsible for the administration of the estate. As such, if you wish to resign as an executor after taking control of the testator’s property, you must formally renounce your position in writing. In order to do this, you will need to submit a letter of renunciation in writing to the probate court, in which you resign as an executor. The precise form of this letter can vary from state to state. As such, you should check with your local probate office to see what precise form is required.
You will also have to provide the court with any information you have already gathered in relation to the deceased’s estate. This information will subsequently be passed on to the person who takes on the role of executor following your departure. If there was a second or alternate executor named in the will, this person will be asked to accept the role. If they are unwilling or unable to accept the role, the court will choose someone to act as executor in the same way as it would choose a person to act as an administrator if there was no will.
How Can EstateBee Help You?
For more information on executor duties and how to resign as an executor, read some of the other articles on executors, executor duties and probate on this website.
Alternatively, check out our book How to Probate an Estate – A Step-By-Step Guide for Executors. This book explores the probate process from the moment the deceased passes away right through to the distribution of the estate assets. Items such as death certificates, autopsies, applying for probate, funeral planning, administering an estate, and asset management are discussed at length. It will show you how to initiate and close probate with ease, learn how to locate and manage estate assets, deal with creditors’ claims, taxes, & trusts, avoid the common mistakes made by many executors, personal representatives & administrators, and much more….
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