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The Executor Doesn't Want to Do the Job: Now What?

By: Attorney Shira Truitt

Being an executor comes with certain rights, but also comes with responsibility. An executor is a person appointed by a testator (the person who creates a will) to manage their estate and carry out the provisions of their will after their death. They can also be appointed by the court. Doing the work of an executor can involve tasks such as collecting and valuing the deceased's assets, paying debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries. There are instances where an executor may not want to fulfill their duties, either because they do not feel capable or because they do not want the responsibility. In these cases, the executor may seek to renounce their role as executor.

If an executor renounces their role, they must do so in writing and file it with the court. This typically happens before the probate process begins, as the executor is required to initiate the probate process by filing the will and other necessary documents with the court. If an executor renounces their role, the court will appoint a new executor to take their place. This may be the person named as the alternate executor in the will, or it may be someone else, such as a family member or a professional fiduciary.

If an executor does not renounce their role but fails to fulfill their duties, they may be removed by the court. This can happen if the executor is not carrying out their duties in a timely or responsible manner, or if they are not acting in the best interests of the beneficiaries. In these cases, the court may appoint a new executor to take over the management of the estate. The court may also hold the original executor accountable for any losses or damages suffered by the estate as a result of their failure to fulfill their duties.

Overall, it is important for executors to carefully consider their ability and willingness to fulfill their duties before accepting the role. If they decide that they do not want to serve as executor, they should take steps to renounce their role in a timely manner. Doing it makes the process a bit smoother for everyone involved in the process.


If you need legal advice or a lawyer in Illinois or Missouri, please contact The Truitt Law Firm, LLC for assistance. For more information on The Truitt Law Firm, LLC or to schedule an appointment, please go to

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