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What happens when a Delaware will’s executor dies first

Delaware residents name an executor in their last will and testaments so that the executor will carry out their final wishes. Sometimes, the executor may pass away, causing complications. In this event, a successor executor named in the will takes over the estate. The court decides who will take over if there is no successor executor.

Successor executor

An executor is someone who handles the tasks of an estate plan after a person passes away. These tasks include notifying creditors, liquidating assets, paying creditors, and distributing assets to beneficiaries.

If the person you named as an executor passes away before you, you can rewrite your will and name a new person. If this isn’t done, the person you named as a successor executor will become the executor.

Have a Contingency Plan

A successor executor is a contingency plan. For example, if an executor passes away before you or the executor passes away during the probate process, the successor becomes the executor.

If your will does not have a contingency plan, then anyone can petition the probate court and ask to be the executor. This person can be a beneficiary. On the other hand, it can be someone who doesn’t know the deceased at all.

If multiple people petition the court, the court will evaluate and decide who they think is best.

Ultimately, this means it will take longer to complete an estate settlement. But, unfortunately, it also means that carrying out an estate plan becomes more complicated and confusing. It is common for court proceedings to take years in a complex situation like this.

Many people name multiple successor executors to ensure they have a say in who carries out their estate plans. This way, they can make their final wishes as clear as possible.