Can the task of “executor” be inherited?

UPDATED: Dec 14, 2011

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Can the task of “executor” be inherited?

Father has 2 sons. Father passes away. In his Will, he names 1 of the son’s and their mother as co-executors. Shortly thereafter the mother passed away. However she named the second son other as sole EOE of her estate. Seeing as how the second son is now the Mother’s EOE, and the mother was a co-executor of the father’s estate, does this make the second son a co-executor of the father’s estate as well? Or does the first son become sole EOE of the father’s estate upon the mother’s passing?

Asked on December 14, 2011 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, the position of executor cannot be inherited. Only those persons named in the will as executor can be exectors--which is why wills often designate more than one executor or back-up executors in the first place, to make sure there is an executor in the event of death, incapacity, or unwillingness to serve. The fact that the second son is his mother's executor does not make him executor in her place of his father's  estate. The first son will be sole executor.

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