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Can I change the executor of my will?

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2024 | Estate Planning

One of the most important steps in setting up your will is selecting your executor. An executor, sometimes called a personal representative, is someone who distributes your property to your beneficiaries according to the terms of your will.

Your executive should be someone who you trust to take on the responsibilities of this role and do everything correctly. They should also be someone you expect to still be available when you pass away.

Reasons you might need a new executor

But life is unpredictable and you may find yourself in a situation where you need to select a different executor. This could be out of necessity, such as if your chosen executor passes away before you do, or because of your own personal wishes.

Divorce is a common situation that could result in wanting a new executor. Many people choose their spouse as an executor, but for obvious reasons, no longer want that person in the role after a divorce.

You can change the executor of your will, but you must do it properly. You can change the terms of your will, including your executor, through a codicil.

A codicil

A codicil is a written modification to your will. After you select who you would like to be your new executor, you can draft your codicil.

Your codicil must name your new executor and include the date their appointment starts. You must treat the codicil the same as your will, which means following all requirements to validate it as you did with your will.

A codicil is generally placed with your original will so both are in the same place. Both your will and codicil should be kept in a secure place.

Writing a new will

Another option is to simply write a new will. This is usually a better option if you want to change other terms of your will in addition to your executor.

Changing your executor is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Your executor is a vital part of your estate plan.