Trussville, AL asked in Probate for Alabama

Q: Executor resignation

My wife is named as an executor in her late mother's will. She has done nothing in an executor capacity since her mother's death (and no one else has either) and she wants to resign as executor. Is there a form you can prepare to do this and how much would it cost?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Licensed in Alabama

A: An attorney would need some more information and clarification before being able to provide you with a firm answer For example, it depends on whether the estate has been opened. If opened, then she would need to file a resignation with the court and a settlement for her time as executor (which may require a court hearing).

If the estate has not been opened, then signing a renunciation would suffice and if there is a need to probate the estate it would be best to deliver the Will to someone who could probate it (successor executor?) or file it with the court. The statute below discusses custody of a Will and even if no one requests it, it might be a good idea to follow the standards. Finally, I would suggest consulting with a local attorney prior to taking any action.

Section 43-8-270

Duty of custodian of will after death of testator; liability.

After the death of a testator and on request of an interested person, any person having custody of a will of the testator shall deliver it with reasonable promptness to a person able to secure its probate and if none is known, to an appropriate court. Any person who wilfully fails to deliver a will is liable to any person aggrieved for the damages which may be sustained by the failure. Any person who wilfully refuses or fails to deliver a will after being ordered by the court in a proceeding brought for the purpose of compelling delivery is subject to the penalty for contempt of court.

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