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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Am I still the executor of the Will of someone I've divorced?

Here's another recent question (you can see from the variety of things people ask me that my job is never dull!).

If a husband and wife make Wills that appoint each other as their executor, and later they get divorced, are they still each other's executors? Is the executor appointment revoked by a separation agreement, minutes of settlement or divorce decree?

Divorce in itself does nothing to your Will. So the fact that you are divorced will not change the fact that you're an executor for your ex's Will. Signing an agreement doesn't change it either.

To remove your ex as your executor, you need to either make a new Will or make a Codicil to the Will. Most people want to make new Wills after divorce anyway because they don't want to leave their estate to their ex.

If the Wills were never changed, your ex dies, and you do not want to be the executor, you can choose to renounce your appointment. This basically means to refuse to be the executor, which every executor has the right to do. Hopefully when the Will was made, an alternate executor was named, and that person will do the job instead of you.

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