As much as we may want to plan for everything, chaos still happens. A named executor of a will is usually a normal, everyday person, so they may be unable to fill this role when the time comes. The chosen executor may pre-decease the will originator, there may be a falling out, or they may simply have drifted apart in life. Still, the legal document stands with that executor listed. What happens then?

Here’s what happens if an executor of a will is unable to fill his or her role and how to prepare for it:

  1. Court appointment: Typically, the courts will appoint a new executor if the named one cannot fulfill the job. Often, someone can ‘apply’ to be that person, and the court will take it under advisement.
  2. Review and update: To avoid these issues, it’s good to review estate plans every once in a while to make sure the named executor is still the right choice.
  3. Check-in periodically: Keep communication open with the chosen executor. Check-in with the person to make sure they’re still open to the job and that they know any major changes to the estate. This shouldn’t need to be said, but make sure they know they’re executors. It’s surprising how many people name an executor assuming they’ll be okay with it and never tell them.
  4. Appoint backups: It’s not a bad idea to name a backup executor in the will. It’s just one more layer of planning and protection for the estate.

Executors are an important piece of estate planning. If you need to update the executors on your will in the Raleigh area, contact Thornton Law Firm.