Can I renounce my right to an administrator of the estate if there is no Will or the executrix if I am so named should a Will be found?

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Can I renounce my right to an administrator of the estate if there is no Will or the executrix if I am so named should a Will be found?

My father predeceased my mother by 2 months. As the eldest surviving child (of 2). I live abroad and would find the duties of the position onerous to fulfill. This is a small estate and one unlikely to be contentious but I am very concerned about the debts of the estate. What are the implications of renouncing my right to be an administrator?

Asked on December 29, 2011 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No one can be forced to be administrator or executor of an estate against his or her will; you may absolutely renounce it. If you do, the court will appoint someone else to do the job. Note that administrators are not personally liable for an estate's debts, so you would not need to worrry about that; but it can be a burden, especially if you are overseas, so it may be best for you to do this, especially if there is not alot of potential gain to you (i.e. as a small estate, you're not terribly worried about exactly what happens to it, so you're not too concerned about letting someone else administrate it).


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