How do I renounce my executorship?

Many people appoint a friend or relative as their executor, as a way of acknowledging their respect or admiration for that person. However, the reality is that often people can be left with the burden of a loved one’s estate, during a time of grief and distress. Even being the executor of a simple estate can take a considerable amount of time. Being an executor requires knowledge of areas such as law, accounting, business management and finance. This can be an extremely difficult task for an everyday person without this knowledge.  As an executor you may be liable if any issues arise during your management of an estate.

Just because you have been nominated as the executor does not mean you have to accept the role. Taking on the responsibility may not be the right thing for you and it is unlikely that the person who nominated you would have wanted to put you under stress. You are under no legal obligation to accept the appointment. If you don’t wish to act as executor you can ‘renounce’ and transfer the role to an independent professional executor, such as the Public Trustee.

Once a person has obtained a grant of probate, it is generally not possible for that person to renounce the appointment.

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