What to do when an executor/beneficiary doesn’t want anything to do with an estate?

UPDATED: Dec 28, 2011

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What to do when an executor/beneficiary doesn’t want anything to do with an estate?

My father is incapacitated due to dementia and I am guardian over his person and estate. His ex-girlfriend recently found his Will which names her as executor and soul beneficiary. It names me second if she passes before he does. She does not want to be executor or beneficiary. What do we do?

Asked on December 28, 2011 under Estate Planning, New Hampshire


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A Will speaks upon the death of a person, not before in that a Will can always be changed before its maker passes assuming the maker wishes to make changes to the initial Will, its amendment or any subsequent Will.

The problem that you have is that your father's mental condition precludes him from making any changes to the existing Will naming his former girlfriend as exectutrix and sole beneficiary. If the former girlfriend wishes no part of his estate when he passes, she has to wait until after your father passes before she signs any document to be filed in the probate court disclaiming any interest in his estate and declining to be the executrix of it.

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