Am I able to become executor of my grandfather’s estate?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Am I able to become executor of my grandfather’s estate?

My grandfather passed away last month. Before he passed away, he got a very large over 200k sum of money from an accident. He deposited this money into his bank account and kept about his normal routine. He was not married and has one son my father. He did not list anyone as beneficiary or executor of his estate. He also had a safe deposit box that is unknown what may be in there. My father has no desire to go through the courts and do the paperwork to become executor so I want to know is it possible for me to do it? Will the court grant me permission with my father still being alive?

Asked on January 18, 2019 under Estate Planning, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A person cannnot be forced to serve as executor (if there is a will naming them) or personal representative/administrator (if there is no will). Someone needs to serve in this capacity, and courts look to family to do so when there is no will naming an executor or the named person refuses to serve. Preference goes to closest family, but if the more closely related person (your father) does not want to serve, it is very likely that the court will appoint you. The court may want some affidavit from your father stating that he does not want the position; contact the county probate court to see what they will require for you to apply for this position.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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