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What happens if named executor in will refuses to be the executor?

Discussion in 'Estate Planning, Creating Wills & Trusts' started by CindiW, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    Have you ever registered a will with a probate court? Have you ever been named executor in a will? Have you ever been named a beneficiary in a will?


    According to your example, Bob thought enough of Bill to name him executor. I'm sure Bob asked Bill if he would do it before naming him. Now Bob dies and Bill just does nothing and Bob's will never gets probated if Bill is in possession of the will which is very likely. Or Bob's family finds the will and brings it to the probate court. Bill as the named executor will be contacted by the court because he is the named executor. Now Bill can be a prick and continue watching Days of Our Lives or he can abdicate and name a family member or someone else in his stead.

    One would think that when someone names someone as executor that the testator knows and trusts that person to do something when the testator dies. While I agree that the named person can do nothing the right thing to do is to submit the will and abdicate.


    I agree with you here that the testator should name an alternative if the named executor doesn't want or is incapable of serving. And the way the named executor says no is by (in PA) is to fill out the RENUNCIATION form and submit it to the probate court.
     
  2. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    It would be unusual that both you and your spouse were to die at the same time. If you die, presumable your spouse would carry out the terms your will and visa versa. So each of you would be the executor/trix of the other's will.

    The discussion here is what happens when the last of you die.

    What the executor does in all states is to take inventory of both the assets and debts of the estate. They pay off the debts and then distribute the assets left over to whomever you named as beneficiaries for assets or personal property. They file final tax returns of the estate and represent the estate against any and all claims..
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
  3. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    The bolded is exactly what I said. But you seem to think there is some act that Bill must take. There isn't he can abdicate by doing nothing.

    I'd be willing to bet that the number of people that have been nominated to be executor and the number of people that ever act as executor is far from a 1:1 ratio. Relationships between people change much more frequently than do the wording of wills.
     
  4. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    Get a lawyer to help with your wills. A lawyer with even the most minimal experience with will knows how to craft contingent executors and also how to handle the case of "simultaneous" death of the parties.
     
  5. CindiW

    CindiW Law Topic Starter Member

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    I'll follow it through asap, by calling lawyer and giving copy to executor. He already knows he is executor but we want to make it as simple as possible for him. Thanks.
     
  6. CindiW

    CindiW Law Topic Starter Member

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    Also if things get out of hand, let's say the executor gets sick and can't deal with it. I didn't do things right when my parents died. I didn't really know what to do, I made mistakes down the line.
     
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    That's *a* way to do it, but not the only way.
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Please refer back to my initial response in this thread (post #3). I thoroughly answered this question. If you think I did not thoroughly answer or if you have further questions, please advise.

    I disagree with your general characterization of wills as "a mess." Rather, it seems like you're overcomplicating something very simple. As far as wills being "better than nothing," it depends on your situation - e.g., what sorts of assets you own and whom you believe is likely to survive you when you die.

    I'm not following this in terms of what you still don't understand.
     
  9. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Based on your absolute lack of understanding of your own estate planning, I would suggest that you find a different attorney from the one you have used in the past. The attorney should be able to answer your questions and explain this to you in terms that you understand, and it's clear that your attorney has failed in that regard.
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    At least that is the story being told here.
     
    Zigner likes this.

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