After the passing of a loved one, a person must handle the deceased's final affairs during the probate process. You may already know that this person is commonly referred to as the executor of the estate, but you may not have given much consideration to the idea of taking on this role for a family member's estate yourself.
Still, you may find yourself in a position where a loved one named you as executor without consulting with you first, or perhaps you are a candidate for the role being considered by the court. At first, you may think you have some obligation to take the position, but after learning all the responsibilities and obligations that come with the role, you may not want it.
Can you refuse?
Fortunately, you do not have to take on the role of executor if you do not want it or do not feel capable of handling the necessary duties. In a best case scenario, a loved one would consult with you first, and you could decline the request before his or her passing. However, if you were not asked before the appointment was made, you still have options for leaving the role.
When can you refuse?
If you find out that your recently deceased loved one named you as executor in his or her will, the best time to renounce the role is before the probate process gets underway. If you have not carried out any duties in relation to closing the estate, you may simply file a Renunciation of Executor form with the court. The court will then have to approve the form, and once that takes place, you do not have any responsibility as far as acting as executor.
If you have already formally accepted the role of executor and then want to step down, you will need to file a petition for removal with the court. In these cases, you would benefit from having a meaningful reason for renouncing the position. If the probate process is already underway, the court could deny your request for removal if you do not have a valid reason.
If you have already taken on the role of executor, you hopefully have enlisted the help of a Texas attorney to guide you through the probate process. If you feel the need to step down from the position of executor, your legal counsel can also provide information on what steps you need to take to renounce the role.