What if you’re unable or unwilling to act as an Executor?

If a person appointed as an executor does not wish to act, or is not able to act, they can formally renounce the appointment.

If a person appointed as an executor does not wish to act, or is not able to act, they can formally renounce the appointment. The responsibility will then be passed to the substitute or alternative executor. If no executor named in the Will is willing or able to act then the closest relative (or a trustee company or Public Trust) can apply to the High Court, for an order entitling them to administer the estate. These are formally called letters of administration. The person given authority to deal with the estate is then called the administrator.

This process will also be necessary if the deceased left a will but it’s invalid or didn’t name an executor, or if the named executor is unable or unwilling to act – for example, they may have since died, or moved overseas.

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