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View Full Version : Can an executor of a will name someone else to be the executor after the will-maker dies?


jayjay
09-01-2010, 11:10 AM
This isn't legal advice, per se...it's more of a general legal question. Say, hypothetically, that someone with no legal experience at all (a non-lawyer) is named the executor of his parent's will. This named executor has no idea how to probate a will or act as an executor...never did it before, doesn't even know anyone who's done it that he's been able to observe in the act. After the will-maker dies and the will becomes effective, is that executor able to name someone else the executor in his place, say a lawyer that he's hired to handle the will? Or is the nomination in the will itself unable to be overridden if the will-maker is deceased?

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
09-01-2010, 11:17 AM
This isn't legal adviceAnd neither is this: I know where I'm located, the probabe court can appoint another personal rep instead of the person named in the event that the named person is unable or unwilling to take on the role. I'd assume that's something that probably comes up once in a while, so give the probate court a call and ask. It's probably pretty common among states.

Dag Otto
09-01-2010, 11:59 AM
After the will-maker dies and the will becomes effective, is that executor able to name someone else the executor in his place, say a lawyer that he's hired to handle the will? Or is the nomination in the will itself unable to be overridden if the will-maker is deceased?

I'd imagine that the executor could only refuse. The sucesssor executor will be selected by the terms of the will, or if not then probably selected by a probate judge. I don't believe the executor can delegate his responsibility, only refuse.

jayjay
09-01-2010, 11:59 AM
:smack:

I should have noted my the location of my hypothetical...Pennsylvania.

shiftless
09-01-2010, 01:31 PM
Good question. I am a named executor and wondered the same thing - so I bought a book which was very good but I don't have it here. "What to expect ...", maybe? This is not legal advise BTW.

I don't have to act as the executor if I don't want to. I can shake my head and refuse to talk and the court will appoint someone. Or, I could hire someone (a lawyer perhaps) to do the work and pay for it out of the estate. I don't think you can be forced to do things by someone's will.

Swallowed My Cellphone
09-01-2010, 01:37 PM
I've never seen a will that didn't have a Plan B executor listed. For example, my ex's step-dad had her brother as executor, and then her elder sister as executrix in the event that #1 couldn't fulfill the duties (and in fact the brother died, so #2 took care of it).

t-bonham@scc.net
09-01-2010, 02:55 PM
An executor can decline to serve, and then someone else has to be appointed.

My aunt died recently, and her will appointed one of her sisters-in-law as executor. But she was in poor health herself, lived about 250 miles away, and hadn't had much interaction with the relatives named in the will for several years. So she declined to be the executor. No second choice was named in the will, as far as I know. So they had the lady at the bank (who had been handling my aunt's financial affairs while she was in the home) serve as executor of the estate.

Quercus
09-01-2010, 03:48 PM
But there's no reason the executor can't remain executor while hiring the lawyer to do the actual work, right? Which means there's a tiny bit of time wasted as the lawyer gets the executor to approve things, but is otherwise basically the same as making the lawyer the executor. Or am I missing something?

Al Bundy
09-01-2010, 03:52 PM
I just did that two months ago. The process involved rejecting the appointment and agreeing to someone else, who I nominated in this case. If I did not select a replacement, the court would have appointed one.

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
09-01-2010, 03:56 PM
Or am I missing something?I think any attorney the executor hires is going to be an additional cost in legal fees. In my parents's estates, I don't think I spent more than 30 hours doing paperwork, meeting with heirs, etc., but that could be several thousand for an attorney to be doing all the leg work. I did hire an attorney to go over a real estate deed of distribution, which cost about $500--but that was it.

panache45
09-01-2010, 04:21 PM
When my mother passed away, my brother was the executor, since he's older. But he lives over 700 miles away, and there were a number of local things that needed to be done. So with the help of my mother's attorney, I was named executor. I think we just had to sign a form.

Polycarp
09-01-2010, 05:02 PM
The executor can indeed decline the job. But more often when a non-lawyer is named as executor and feels the tasks are beyond his competence, he will retain an attorney to guide him, or to actually do the majority of the work required to execute the will, signing the occasional form to give legal validity to the work of the attorney.

barbitu8
09-01-2010, 07:41 PM
The executor can decline to act. The state law will contain provisions as to which beneficiaries can nominate a new administrator. The administrator nominated by the appropriate beneficiaries must be approved by the court, and he/she will be called "administrator (rix) with will annexed."

UDS
09-01-2010, 08:49 PM
Going back to the OP, the declining executor does not get to nominate the substitute. There is a set order in which the beneficiaries are called upon to act, or they can agree to nominate someone. The declining executor has no role in choosing the substitute (unless he happens to be a beneficiary as well).

jbaker
09-02-2010, 10:38 AM
Most executors are non-lawyers, and lawyers frequently are hired to assist. When my father died, I served as his executor. I'm a lawyer but live in a different state, so I hired a local lawyer who was familiar with local law.

BigT
09-03-2010, 12:05 AM
Lets say my grandpa's first executor is now deceased, and I am worried the backup may decline. Who would pick the successor?

(I have actually read my grandpa's will, and only two executors are named.)

UDS
09-03-2010, 01:46 AM
If the will names no executor, or if the named executors are dead or decline or whatever, then the next of kin has the right to be appointed to administer the estate, and after them the next in line, and so forth. Sooner or later you will get to somebody in this list who has a financial interest in seeing that the estate gets administered; he will accept the appointment. If nobody in that list wants to do it, then anyone with an interest in the will can petition the court to appoint himself, or some person suggested by him who is willing to do it. But it rarely gets to that.

veniceditto
04-08-2012, 08:55 AM
I have just lost my best friend and soulmate and I am totally devastated and cant ever see me feeling any different. I hope and pray that time helps me. I am executor of my friends WILL. Her Husband, who she has been separated for 15 years, seems to be taking over everything to do with the money that is involved.

I may not be the smartest person on this planet BUT surely this is wrong. He went and emptied her two bank accounts and whatever was in them are now in his account. I am the executor remember and I knew nothing of this. I have given him so many chances to hand over the money involved but the only answer I got was "I have made a decision" ok what decision? "to not hand over any of the money to you. But I am the executor of the WILL and I need that money to fulfil the wishes of my friend? I said to him. "Well your going to have a problem then arent you"

Any ideas? meaning, surely what he is doing is wrong? there cant be any right in his behaviour.

My friend has been gone 3 months now and I havent been able to make a start on the WILL because I do not have the money. Is the only answer SOLICITORS?

Its a path I didnt want to go down but I feel as if I have no choice anymore. Why do people turn into monsters whenever there is money around?

No values or morals. Dispicable behaviour.

What a battle I have on my hands. Thank you for reading

Czarcasm
04-08-2012, 09:34 AM
Get a lawyer.

jbaker
04-08-2012, 03:45 PM
I have just lost my best friend and soulmate and I am totally devastated and cant ever see me feeling any different. I hope and pray that time helps me. I am executor of my friends WILL. Her Husband, who she has been separated for 15 years, seems to be taking over everything to do with the money that is involved.

I may not be the smartest person on this planet BUT surely this is wrong. He went and emptied her two bank accounts and whatever was in them are now in his account. I am the executor remember and I knew nothing of this. I have given him so many chances to hand over the money involved but the only answer I got was "I have made a decision" ok what decision? "to not hand over any of the money to you. But I am the executor of the WILL and I need that money to fulfil the wishes of my friend? I said to him. "Well your going to have a problem then arent you"

Any ideas? meaning, surely what he is doing is wrong? there cant be any right in his behaviour.

My friend has been gone 3 months now and I havent been able to make a start on the WILL because I do not have the money. Is the only answer SOLICITORS?

Its a path I didnt want to go down but I feel as if I have no choice anymore. Why do people turn into monsters whenever there is money around?

No values or morals. Dispicable behaviour.

What a battle I have on my hands. Thank you for reading

Veniceditto, you will simply have to consult a lawyer (solicitor). It sounds like you are in a battle that you cannot win without legal assistance.

Incidentally, many bank accounts are set up to allow the proceeds automatically to go to the survving spouse upon death. That could have been the case here, but we cannot tell from the information provided.

panache45
04-09-2012, 06:46 AM
When my mother died, my brother was the executor because he's the older. But he lives in another city, and there were logistic problems, so I was named the executor. No problem.