How to Nullify an Executor on a Will

by Andrine Redsteer
You may nullify an existing executor by executing a codicil.

You may nullify an existing executor by executing a codicil.

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If you want to nullify the executor on your will, you can amend your will by executing a codicil. Codicils are suitable for making minor changes such as removing an executor and naming a new one. However, if there are other portions of your will you want to change, it's advisable to make a new will that unequivocally and expressly revokes your existing will.

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Step 1

Choose your new executor. Generally, executors must be at least 18 years old and competent. You may wish to name an alternate executor as well. An alternate executor will take on the role of your primary executor if your primary executor is unwilling or unable to administer your estate.

Step 2

Speak to the person you wish to name as your new executor. The law doesn't require this; however, your new executor should be informed and willing to accept the position, as it carries significant responsibilities. If you're naming an alternate executor as well, you should also consult this person to make sure he's willing to accept the responsibility in the event your primary executor is unable to serve.

Step 3

Obtain a codicil form. You may find state-specific codicil forms from an online legal document preparation service or look at samples of codicils forms and type one up. State laws vary, but states generally require codicils to adhere to the same formalities as wills. Thus, if you choose to type up your own codicil, make sure you create a codicil that includes signature lines designated for you and your witnesses. If you have questions regarding your codicil, you should consult with an attorney.

Step 4

State in your codicil that you're removing the executor named in your will. It's advisable to have your will handy, so you can refer to the specific line or section you're amending. For example, if your will names your executor on line 3 of Section IV, include this information so as to leave no doubt as to which provision you're amending. If your state recognizes holographic wills and codicils, you may execute your codicil in your own handwriting. However, if you are unsure if your state recognizes handwritten wills and codicils, or if you just want to ensure that your codicil is completely legible, it is best to type it.

Step 5

Sign your codicil following the laws for signing a will in your state. If your state requires that you have two witnesses sign your will, you will need to have two witnesses sign your codicil. If you have your witnesses sign immediately after you and in your presence, as well as in the presence of a notary public who then notarizes the codicil, your codicil will be self-proving, meaning your witnesses will not be required to testify in probate court as to its authenticity.

Step 6

Keep your codicil with your will and store it along with your will in a safe place. You may attach your codicil to your will, as a lost codicil can cause confusion for beneficiaries and the probate court. You may give a copy of your will and codicil to your new executor, as well as your alternate executor if you choose to name one. Otherwise, it's advisable to let your new executor know where you will be storing your will and codicil.