How do I get out of being the executor of my mom’s will?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do I get out of being the executor of my mom’s will?

Dad is dead.
Mom in nursing home.
I am POA, but not guardian or anything,
just POA. I also am named as the
executor of my mom’s will. Som

Asked on September 6, 2016 under Estate Planning, South Dakota


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that your mother can't or won't name another executor in her Will, prior to formal court appointment, you can step down as executor and without giving any reason as to why you want to do so. You'll  file a "renunciation", which is a legal document that states the person named in the Will as executor chooses not act as the representative for the estate. You will need to sign the renunciation form and file it with the appropriate probate court (i.e. the one in the county in which the maker of the Will was domiciled). This is done after the testator's death but before you are officially appointed by the court. The exact rules for renunciation vary by state (you can ask the court about this). Finally, if you're filling a renunciation, it is a good idea to notify the beneficiaries of the estate before submitting the form to the court to give them time to find another qualified person to act as executor.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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