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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.

1 comment:

  1. My husband and I separated in 2013. He was killed two years later. We had been together 40 years. In his Will I was the named executrix. However, in 2014 (in BC) a new law was passed (unknown to either my husband or myself) that effectively made my position as executrix null and void. The alternate executor, a lawyer, did not disclose to me or my daughter that he could have stepped down and applied to the court to allow me to be executrix (my daughter is the only beneficiary through a Trust). We did not know that he could have done so. In his own word, we were "stuck" with him. This was a small estate and I could have easily done the job; he, however, has billed for over $40,000 in fees and my daughter and I both feel he has been incompetent and neglectful and did not act in the best interest of his client. Is there anything we can do to have him reprimanded or made accountable?


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