Can You Resign As An Executor?

If you find that you have been appointed as an Executor under a Will without your knowledge or if, having initially indicated that you would be prepared to act as an Executor circumstances change and you no longer wish to act then before the Grant of Probate has been taken out you can “renounce” by signing a Deed of Renunciation. 

Once this Deed is signed you have effectively stepped down and given up all responsibilities as Executor.  It is not your responsibility to find someone else to act in your place. 

However, if, even before the issuing of the Grant, you have “intermeddled” in the Estate by for example collecting in Estate assets, paying Estate debts or perhaps even taking steps to sell the Deceased’s house, then you cannot renounce because you would be considered to have already taken on the role of Executor and would have assumed the responsibilities of that role.  As a general rule once the Grant has issued and you are formally appointed as Executor then you are not able to renounce.  

An application can be made to revoke a Grant of Probate but these applications are only usually made where either the Grant was issued in error because it transpires that the Will was invalid or where it transpires that the Grant was mistakenly or improperly obtained. 

If you wish to know more about this, then please contact Grahame Henry at or 0800 083 0815.