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.

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.

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.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

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if your former executor has a copy of your will, he might begin to act as the executor and execute a will that is no longer valid.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. Start My Estate Plan
How to Nullify an Executor on a Will

References

Related articles

Legal Process of Benefactors in a Will

When you create a will, you leave directions for your loved ones to follow when distributing your estate. Your benefactors, or beneficiaries, however, don’t receive their inheritances automatically when you pass away. Instead, your estate must go through your state’s probate processes before it can be distributed. Though specific procedures vary among the states, the basic process remains the same in most areas.

How to Make a No-Frills Will

By creating a will, you have the power to dictate what happens to your assets after your death. Although contemplating your own demise is never a pleasant experience, proper planning ensures your family and assets are protected when you are no longer around to do the job. If you need to include tax planning information in your will, own a small business or have considerable assets, a simple, no-frills will may not be the most economical choice. If, however, your financial situation is not complex, a simple will is an option. Creating a basic will on your own or with the help of an online legal document provider can also save you hundreds of dollars in attorney fees.

How to Address the Executor of an Estate in a Letter

Think of your executor as the co-pilot of your assets; when you are no longer able to captain your affairs, she takes over the controls and administers the estate through probate. Many people identify the person to administer their estate in their written will. If you do so, it also makes sense to leave a letter to assist your chosen executor to locate beneficiaries, identify assets and verify debt. This kind of verbal map of your holdings enables the executor to facilitate probate and wind up your estate as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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

Related articles

How to Change the Executor of a Will

The executor of your will is the person who will carry out the instructions in your will when you die, according to the ...

Do I Need a Lawyer to Add an Executor to My Will?

Even after you make a will and sign it, you can change it. Over time, you may want to change beneficiaries or executors ...

How to Make Someone the Executor of a Will

You need to cover the important aspects of your estate in your will, including who you are leaving assets to, how much ...

Can You Make Someone an Executor in a Will Without Going Through a Lawyer?

When you write a will, you need to name an executor. An executor is the person responsible for carrying out your final ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED