If an executor dies and there is no one else named, can the dececeased executor’s wife take charge or does the state name someone?

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If an executor dies and there is no one else named, can the dececeased executor’s wife take charge or does the state name someone?

Asked on January 16, 2016 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Since the probate process requires someone to act on the behalf of the estate, if an executor dies and there is no co-executor or named successor executor, the court will appoint a new one.
Typically, someone interested in the estate petitions the probate court for appointment. Preference is given to immediate family members (e.g. the surviving spouse or adult child). If a family member does not want the job, they may be permited to choose someone else for the job.


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