Executor and seeing a will

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Executor and seeing a will

I have been told I am a co executor of my father’s will. Ig I made telephone
inquiries about possible funeral costs can I the refuse to act as executor? Will
I still be entitled to see a copy of the will even if I am not an executor?

Many Thanks

Asked on February 13, 2018 under Estate Planning, Alaska


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Fist of all, as a child, you have a right to see your father's Will as you are an "interested party". That is someone who will inherit as an heir if it turns out that the Will is for some reason invalid. Further, if you do not want to act as executor you can renounce your appointment. If you want to step down, you can do so before your formal court appointment without giving a reason. You do this by in a signed writing by stating that you don't want to serve. Then you file it in probate court (the exact rules for this renunciation vary by state). If you do file a renunciation, notify the beneficiaries before submitting the document in order to give them time to find another executor. If you've already been appointed by the court, then in addition to the statement that you must write up, you have to file a petition in court for removal. The court will look at your reason for resigning (i.e. ill health, a family emergency, etc.). Additionally, if you have already been appointed executor, the court will require that you give a detailed account of the work that you've performed. As a general rule, you will not obtain a formal release until you provide such an accounting. Finally, in some jurisdictions, you can resign by failing to take any action after the testator dies since a failure to act is viewed as a disclaimer of your duties as executor. At this point, you should consult directly with a local probate attorney as they can advise you as to specific state law.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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