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Executor does not wish to act

What an executor does if they don’t want to be responsible for administering the estate.

If an executor decides that they don't want to be responsible for administering the estate, they can choose to:

  • reserve the right to participate in administering the estate at some later stage, or
  • irrevocably renounce their position.

See s. 16—Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Reserving the right to participate at a later stage

An executor can resume their responsibilities at any time until the administration of the estate has been completed.

If the executor wants reserve the right to participate, they should put it in writing. A copy should be attached to the Will when applying to the Probate Office for a Grant of Representation.

See Grant of Representation.

Renounce the right to administer

If an executor wants to renounce their position, it must be in the form of an affidavit. The affidavit must state that the person has not taken any action in administering the estate or proving the Will. The Supreme Court of Victoria has sample forms (links below).

The document must be lodged with the Will when applying to the Probate Office for a Grant of Representation.

See Grant of Representation.

Who will administer the estate?

If the Will nominates another executor or an alternative executor, they can apply for a Grant of Probate. An alternative executor should explain in the application why the nominated executor is not the applicant.

If no other executives have been nominated by the Will-maker, the major beneficiary may apply for Letters of Administration if they have the capacity to act.

See Grant of Representation.

More information

Legislation

Administration & Probate Act 1958 (Vic)

  • s. 16—renunciation of an executor
  • s. 17—executor represents the original Will-maker and breaking the chain of executors

See Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Updated