Can I Be Forced To Serve As An Executor or Trustee?

Often people consider it an honor to be named as an executor, personal representative or trustee. But along with being named in one of these positions comes a lot of responsibility, liability, attention to detail, deadlines, phone calls, paperwork, and potential family drama. Just because the person who named you thought you would be the best person for the job does not mean you are forced to accept the position.

If you have reservations about serving in these positions then don’t. If you are named in a will or trust and you don’t want to serve simply tell the court that you do not want to serve by filing a renunciation. The court will move on to whoever else may have been named next or if no one else was named, to whoever would have the right to serve in that position under state law. Filing a renunciation does not change anything about the actual estate. Everything in the will or trust will be administered and distributed exactly as written, including to you if you are to inherit. It just means that you have chosen to not be named to take on the responsibility and potential liabilities that go along with these roles.

Kelley Scrocca
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Business Estate Planning and Probate Attorney