What will happen if I refuse to be an executor of my mother’s estate?

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What will happen if I refuse to be an executor of my mother’s estate?

I have refused to sign a letter of renunciation. My sister and I parted on bad terms after the passing of my mother and I do not want anything to with my mother’s estate. I just want to walk away from the entire matter.

Asked on August 29, 2013 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The probate court (the court that deals with wills, inheritance, etc.) will appoint someone to that role, such as some local attorney (assuming, that is, that there is not a back-up executor named in the will, which is the better practice). You cannot be forced to serve as executor, but may be forced to put something in writing declining the appointment for the court.


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