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When should you replace your executor?

Your executor is in charge of handling your affairs -- both financial and legal -- after you pass away. Of course, choosing the right executor is about finding someone who is willing and able to do the job and who you trust. While most appointed executors are capable of fulfilling their duties, there are situations in which it may become clear that a change is necessary.

So, what are some signs that it is time to get a new executor?

Two of them are obvious: death and divorce. While it is certainly not pleasant to imagine, it is possible that your executor will pass away before you do. Of course, this would make it necessary to appoint a new executor.

Divorce, on the other hand, may only matter if your spouse was your executor -- as is common. Since you probably do not want your ex-spouse to be in charge of your assets after your death, it may be wise to choose someone new.

The last reason for removing an executor can be less straightforward: disservice. Above all else, your executor is responsible for appropriately handling your affairs in a way that is in your best interests. If you learn something about your executor that causes you to question whether he or she will adequately perform the associated duties, it is a good idea to find a replacement.

If you are unsure about whether you need to replace an executor, it can be helpful to speak with an estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you better understand the role of an executor and what qualities to look for in a potential candidate.

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