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How to Give Up Being an Executor

How to Give Up Being an Executor
Because being an executor carries a lot of responsibility and, depending on the size of the estate, may be time-consuming and overwhelming, some people would like to know how to give up being an executor.

If you want to know how to give up being an executor, an answer would depend on whether you are doing so before or after you get appointed by the court.

Before court appointment

In New York, an executor nominated in a will may decline appointment without giving any reason. To formally decline appointment, the executor must file a form entitled Renunciation of Nominated Executor, have it notarized, and file with the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the decedent resided. Before appointment, the role is voluntary, and the court cannot force the individual to be an executor of an estate.

After court appointment

Once an executor has already been appointed, they may petition and ask permission from the court to be relieved from his duties, providing the reason for resignation. Some possible reasons are time constraints, lack of experience, deteriorating health, residency in another state, or other personal reasons. All persons interested in the estate would have to be copy furnished of the petition.

The court may grant or decline this petition, depending on what is for the best interest of the estate.

In addition, prior to resignation, the executor needs to submit a formal accounting of all estate monies paid to creditors and distributes or as expenses. Bank statements and payments receipts should be furnished to the court, the decedent’s family, and other estate beneficiaries. To dispense of this requirement, all the beneficiaries must consent to a waiver of the need for a formal accounting by the resigning executor. If one beneficiary does not give consent, the resigning executor must submit a formal accounting, and other beneficiaries may object to the accounting, which can prolong the resignation process.

Ultimately, it’s always better to renounce before court appointment to save the estate the fees associated with the executor’s resignation after court appointment.

An executor is a person who has been named in the will to carry out the instructions and manage the affairs of the deceased person’s estate. The executor needs to prepare the funeral, apply for a tax identification number for the estate from the IRS, collect funds, open a checking account to keep estate funds separately without commingling, determine the validity of creditors’ claims and pay them, pay estate debts and expenses, record all details of financial transactions, prepare and file federal and state tax returns, and pay the balance of the estate funds to the beneficiaries. Understandably, this is not something that you would necessarily like to do, for various reasons.

Now that you know how to give up being an executor, you can contact the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin to put together the documents required to do so. We can be reached at 212-233-1233.