After someone dies, an executor steps up to help administer the estate. In most cases, the executor knows that they’ll be taking on the role before the other party’s death. In some, they were never informed that they’d be taking on that role.
So, if you’re appointed as an executor of an estate, do you have to take on the role? The simple answer is no. If you don’t want to be the executor, then you can tell the court that you decline. Then, the court can either appoint the backup executor (another party named in the will) or can appoint a personal representative.
An executor plays an important role after the decedent’s death
It is up to the executor to begin the probate process in court. However, as simple as that may sound, things don’t always work out. Sometimes, the executor passes away. Other times, the executor just decides that they don’t want to do the job at all.
If the will is not probated, there can be penalties. So, if you’ve been appointed to be an executor and have the will in your possession, make sure that you turn it in to the court within the required timeframe. By depositing it at the court, the will can still go through probate, and you won’t be accused of failing to file a will within the appropriate timeframe.
Think carefully before you reject the idea of being an executor. Your loved one probably appointed you because they trusted that you’d do a good job. You don’t have to take on the role, but be certain that you don’t want it before turning in the will.