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What happens to probate if the executor steps down?

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2023 | Trust And Probate Administration

While it is ideal for a probate proceeding to run as smoothly as possible, it is sometimes unavoidable to face some obstacles along the way. Common issues include missing documents, will contests and other disagreements among heirs.

However, there is another issue that could affect and delay probate—when the executor of the estate suddenly steps down.

Can an executor step down?

If this situation occurs, the first question you may ask is whether executors are allowed to step down, especially when the proceedings are already ongoing. Florida laws do not prevent personal representatives of estates to resign from their position and relinquish their responsibilities. Several reasons could push executor to step down, such as sudden incapacity, disability or simply because the no longer have time to perform their duties.

As long as they submit their resignation to the court and inform all interested persons of it, among other requirements, executors can step down from their position.

What happens then?

Understandably, you might worry about what will happen to your loved one’s estate after the executor’s resignation. The court will not leave the proceedings hanging and will look for a replacement. If the decedent assigned multiple executors in their will, the court will most likely appoint the remaining coexecutor. Otherwise, the court will choose someone qualified to take on the role and continue the probate process.

Anticipate for the unanticipated

You will encounter several roadblocks during the probate process and it will feel overwhelming. Nevertheless, while you cannot control unanticipated events, you can prepare yourself for the possibility with the help of adequate research and competent legal guidance.