Do You Have to Notify Someone if They Are No Longer the Executor of Your Will?

By Marilyn Lindblad

Making a will helps ensure your property will be distributed according to your wishes after your death. When you make a will, you designate an executor who is responsible for settling your estate and making sure your wishes are carried out. Your executor may be your spouse, adult child or other family member, or a friend or professional with whom you have a business relationship.

Making a will helps ensure your property will be distributed according to your wishes after your death. When you make a will, you designate an executor who is responsible for settling your estate and making sure your wishes are carried out. Your executor may be your spouse, adult child or other family member, or a friend or professional with whom you have a business relationship.

Executor's Duties

The executor's role is complex and may involve a significant amount of time and responsibility. One of the executor's duties is to notify your creditors and beneficiaries of your death. Your executor must also value, protect and take care of your property. He must calculate and pay whatever taxes are owed on your pre-death income and estate's income. Your executor has a fiduciary duty to protect your estate and to be accountable for its assets and liabilities.

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Changing Your Will

The contents of your will are not "set in stone" until you die. You may change your will throughout your lifetime; in fact, periodically reviewing your will is a sound estate planning practice. As your wealth grows and your family's needs change, you may make changes, called codicils, to your will. You may also start from scratch and write a new will or change any provision of your will, including whom you designate as executor.

Confidentiality of Your Will

You are not required to reveal the contents of your will to anyone, including your executor or former executor. However, it is a good idea to speak with the individual you want to designate as your executor and obtain his consent before naming him; thereby, giving him a chance to decide whether he wants to accept the designation. Similarly, you should consider telling your former executor that you have relieved him of his responsibility. Otherwise, if your former executor has a copy of your will, he might begin to act as the executor and execute a will that is no longer valid. Keeping your current and former executors informed may help avoid disputes between the two parties, arising after your death, regarding which version of your will is up to date.

Disclosing the Contents of Your Will

You may wish to tell your beneficiaries whom you've designated as the executor. You also may wish to disclose the entire contents of your will to your beneficiaries. Although you may think your will clearly spells out your desires, ambiguities may arise when your will is interpreted. If you discuss your desires beforehand, you can clarify gray areas and help your loved ones develop realistic expectations for the future.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now
What Is the Responsibility of the Executor of a Will?

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Components of a Legal Will

While thinking about your death may not appeal to you, estate planning is an important part of managing your assets. Creating a will allows you to provide instructions regarding the division of your belongings at the time of your death. An attorney who specializes in estate planning can help you navigate through the laws and procedures that govern wills in your state.

Drafting Your Will in New Jersey

The first requirement in New Jersey for making a legally valid will is that you must be of sound mind and at least 18 years of age at the time of drafting the document. A number of state laws govern the contents and form of the will document. In the event your will doesn't comply with even one of these statutory requirements, you run the risk that a New Jersey court may rule your will cannot be enforced.

Wills & Codicils

Planning for your future includes planning for the time of your death. While contemplating death can be unpleasant for many individuals, creating a will provides your beneficiaries with instructions regarding your final wishes. Seek the services of a licensed attorney who specializes in estate planning to ensure your will and codicils meet the legal requirements of your state.

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