Who Serves as Executor?

Usually, the person named in the will is appointed executor, but there are exceptions.

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If a will names you to serve as executor, the probate court will probably appoint you to the post without any problem. There are circumstances, however, in which certain people may not be allowed to serve. And if you're from out of state, the court may impose requirements and restrictions on you that wouldn't apply to an in-state resident.

Executors can always be removed from their post, as well. If an executor messes up badly--for example, uses estate funds for personal purposes, or doesn't provide accountings required by the probate court--the court can take away the executor's authority and appoint someone else. Usually, unhappy beneficiaries are the ones who push for an executor to be removed.

Serving as Executor? Nolo Can Help.

Find a local lawyer for advice or handle the estate yourself with nolo's award winning do-it-yourself legal books.

The Executor's Guide

The Executor's Guide

Settle an estate or trust with this all-in-one guide for executors. The Executor's Guide will help you make progress one step at a time through the unfamiliar land of legal procedures and terminology.

The Trustee's Legal Companion

The Trustee's Legal Companion

Learn the ins and outs of being a trustee with this guide for every trust administrator. The Trustee’s Legal Companion shows you exactly how to proceed within the terms of the trust and your state's law.

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