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Can you change your executor?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2023 | Blog, Estate Planning |

When it comes to estate planning, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is who will serve as your executor.

Your executor is responsible for many different, key tasks after you pass away. However, what happens if you change your mind and want to choose a new executor? It is helpful to understand whether you can change your executor and the steps involved.

Understanding executor responsibilities

Before we delve into whether you can change your executor, it is important to understand the role of an executor. Your executor has several responsibilities, including locating your assets, paying any debts you owe and distributing your property to your beneficiaries. Your executor must also file your final tax returns and pay any estate taxes that the estate may owe. As such, it is crucial to choose someone you trust and who is capable of managing these tasks.

Changing your executor

If you have already chosen an executor but want to make a change, it is possible to do so. The simplest way to change your executor is to update your will. You can do this by executing a new will that revokes any prior wills and appoints a new executor. Alternatively, you can execute a codicil, which is a legal document that amends your existing will. In the codicil, you can name a new executor or revoke the appointment of your current executor.

Changing your executor can be a complex process, particularly if you have already appointed an executor and are now seeking to remove them. In some cases, your current executor may contest your decision or may have already taken steps to begin administering your estate. As such, it is essential to seek advice before making any changes to your executor.

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