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What to do if you do not want to be an executor of an estate

Choosing the executor of a will is a big decision to make. The person writing the will needs to select someone who is financially responsible and trustworthy. It can be difficult to find someone willing to take on such a responsibility, which is why the American Bar Association makes the case for hiring a paid executor. 

If someone asks you to be an executor, you should know how highly the person views you. It is truly an honor, but it does come with many responsibilities. Perhaps you do not have the time or energy to devote to being an executor. There is a process for removing yourself from that title, and you want to ensure you do everything accurately. 

Open probate

The first thing you want to do involves opening probate. You will need to file this petition at a court in the county where the individual who appointed you died. In most cases, a judge will appoint whoever the testator designated as the executor. You need to make it clear that someone else needs to handle this responsibility. 

Be honest with yourself

If a person appoints you as executor, then it means he or she trusts you greatly. Naturally, you want to do what is best for your loved one who passed away, but that means being honest and knowing whether you can truly handle everything. You will need to make sure to file all the necessary paperwork and handle the estate taxes. If any part of a person's assets become mismanaged, then you open yourself up to a lawsuit. You need to think clearly, and if you do not think you would do a good job, then pass it on to someone else. 

Consider hiring an attorney

Anyone concerned about fulfilling the role of an executor should know they do not have to go at it alone. Remember, you can always hire an attorney to assist you throughout the process. 

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