How to Change the Executor of a Will

By A.L. Kennedy

The executor of your will is the person who will carry out the instructions in your will when you die, according to the American Bar Association. This person will be responsible for paying any remaining debts you have and for distributing your property to the beneficiaries you name. If you need to change your executor, you may do so by writing an amendment to your will, known as a codicil, according to the American Bar Association.

The executor of your will is the person who will carry out the instructions in your will when you die, according to the American Bar Association. This person will be responsible for paying any remaining debts you have and for distributing your property to the beneficiaries you name. If you need to change your executor, you may do so by writing an amendment to your will, known as a codicil, according to the American Bar Association.

How to Change the Executor of a Will

Step 1

Decide who you wish to be your new executor. In most states, an executor must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind, according to the American Bar Association. You may also wish to name a contingent or "backup" executor, who will take over the executor's role if your first choice is unable or unwilling to be your executor after your death, according to FindLaw.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Step 2

Obtain the consent of your new executor. Although this step is not required to have a valid will, it helps ensure that your new executor is willing to take on the responsibility and is aware that he will have business to attend to when you die, according to the American Bar Association. You may also wish to notify your backup executor, if you have one.

Step 3

Write the amendment to your will naming your new executor and backup executor, if you have one. This amendment is known as a "codicil," according to the American Bar Association. You may handwrite your codicil or type it. Use a separate sheet of paper for your codicil. Write your codicil using the same wording that is used to name your executor in your original will, and change the name of the executor.

Step 4

Sign your codicil in the presence of at least two witnesses and a notary, if desired. A codicil must be signed and witnessed according to the same rules that govern the signing and witnessing of your will, according to the American Bar Association. You do not have to use the same witnesses, as long as you have at least two, or three if you are in Vermont, according to MedLaw Plus. A notary is required only in Louisiana, but notarization may be used in other states to make a will "self-proving," which allows the probate court to accept it without questioning your witnesses, according to the American Bar Association.

Step 5

Attach the signed and witnessed codicil to your original will and store the will, with the codicil, in a safe place. You may wish to tell your new executor where your will is kept and how to get it so that she can take care of your estate more easily when you pass, according to the American Bar Association.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
How to Nullify an Executor on a Will

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Add a Page to My Last Will & Testament

As you age, your priorities or circumstances often change and you decide to revise some provisions of your will. One way to add a page to your will would be to revoke the current will and write a completely new will. However, this can be inconvenient and costly, -- and it might not be necessary. You can often include additional property or beneficiaries in your will by adding an amendment called a codicil. Another option is to add a personal property memorandum, which is used to dispose of tangible personal property that is not specifically disposed of in the will.

Making Corrections on a Will Without a Lawyer

After you have made your will, you may find that it contains errors or that you want to amend, change or remove some information. Making corrections on a will without a lawyer is legal as long as your corrections meet the requirements of your state's law for corrections, additions and deletions to wills.

How to Write an Amendment to a Will

Once a will is written, signed, and witnessed, it is legal in most states as long as it meets state law requirements. To change a completed will, you must either add an amendment, known as a codicil, or destroy the will and create a new one. You cannot alter your will by simply crossing something out or adding something new. Writing an amendment to a will is a simple process that is legal as long as it is signed, dated and witnessed like the original will.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

Preparation of Wills

Preparing a will is one way to ensure that your property will go to the people you choose to have it after your death. ...

How to Amend a Last Will & Testament

Finishing your last will and testament can feel like a huge weight off your shoulders. However, as your life ...

How Do I Change a Last Will & Testament?

You might decide to change your will for several reasons, including changes in the laws governing your will and changes ...

How to Change Your Heirs in Your Will

In your will, you name an executor, the person who will manage your estate according to the distribution instructions ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED