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By: Scott Grossman on April 17th, 2018

How to Resign as a Co-Executor During Probate Administration

Co-Executor (noun):

Someone who is jointly or also named as an executor to a will.

Being a co-executor of an estate administration is not always an easy task. When there are two executors involved, there can sometimes be “too many cooks in the kitchen”. Often time this could lead to potential disputes and disagreements. If you find yourself in a dispute with a co-executor and you no longer wish to serve alongside him or her, one potential option is to resign.

Resigning as a Co-Executor May Be an Involved Process

Resigning may seem like a simple solution; however, doing so is not as easy at it may appear. The following is a general overview of the process:

  1. If the will has already been admitted to probate and letters testamentary issued, your appointment as a co-executor is valid.
  2. If you no longer wish to serve as executor, you must petition the probate court to resign as a co-executor.
  3. You must complete and file a resignation with the court that is overseeing the estate administration. To do so, you must use the appropriate forms required by the court.
  4. If the court grants your request for resignation, a new co-executor may be appointed. Whether a new co-executor is appointed depends largely on the terms of the will. For example, the will may state that in the absence of co-executors any one executor may continue to serve alone. In the alternative, the will may state that if one of the executors resigns or is removed, a replacement shall be appointed to fill that role. If a replacement is called for, the desired individual may be specifically named in the will. If not, there may be a provision that calls for someone else to choose the replacement, or the probate court may make the ultimate decision.


It is important to note that resigning does not relieve you of your responsibility to protect the estate and its assets. In other words, if you are resigning because your co-executor is engaging in unethical activities, you have an obligation to notify the court prior to your resignation. For more information about resigning as an executor, we encourage you to contact us anytime—day or night—through our easy, online, live chat box found directly on our website.