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.
Create an affordable will with LegalZoom
How to Change the Executor of a Will
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
References & Resources
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images