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When should you change your executor?

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2023 | Estate Planning

An executor ensures your wishes are fulfilled when you become incapacitated or die. In addition, they have other duties, including taking the will to probate and managing the estate before distribution. Thus, you should appoint someone reliable. However, at times, you may need to change your executor.

This guide discusses four situations when you may need to take this step:

Turns down the appointment

Your executor may reject the appointment after months or years. Several reasons can lead them to this decision, including moving out of the state or country and new responsibilities in their life. If this happens, you will need to change your executor.


If your executor falls ill, making it impossible for them to perform their duties, you may need to change them. This is especially necessary when the illness becomes long-term.


Unless stated otherwise, a divorce may automatically revoke the appointment of a spouse as an executor. Thus, if you had named your spouse as your will’s executor and you go through a divorce, you may need to change them. However, your ex-spouse can retain the appointment if you have no issue with them handling your personal affairs.


If your chosen executor dies, you should find another one. Choose someone as capable as the previous one to perform the needed duties.

What about the alternate executor?

When creating a will, you should name an executor and an alternate one. This way, should anything happen to the executor, such as those discussed above, the alternate will assume the primary responsibilities seamlessly. Accordingly, you will choose another alternate executor.

Executors are an integral part of a will. It may be best to get professional guidance to change your executor legally.