Determine if you should accept the executor role

Just because you are named as the estate executor in a will does not mean you have to accept the role. After you understand the general responsibilities of an executor, consider whether you want to serve. People often see serving as a way to honor their loved one who has passed. There can also be comfort in knowing that if you manage the process that you can be more certain that the estate will be settled fairly and on a timely basis. Many families are torn apart in this process, and a steady hand managing this process can help ensure that a family stays together during this stressful time.

That said, there are many reasons people decline to be an executor. Some choose not to serve because they don’t think they will have the time it takes. Others do not serve because they are grieving the loss of their loved one and do not believe they can cope with the constant reminder of their loss as they navigate the 100+ steps required to complete the role.. Still others choose not to serve because they just don’t want to take on the responsibility at this time.

If you are uncomfortable serving as executor for any reason, you are able to decline the responsibility and the probate judge will appoint a replacement. You should not feel bad for not accepting the executor role. The beneficiaries will be better served by someone who is fully able to hold the position and effectively complete the executor duties.