Renounce Executorship

Renounce Executorship

Almost everyone will at some point will be required to draw up their own Will, with the help of a professional of course. And a key part of creating a Will is naming an Executor of said Will.

The Executor of a Will is responsible for carrying out the wishes of a person after their death. They are to manage the estate within the terms of the Will and protect the assets of the deceased’s estate. If you’re keen to brush up a bit more on all things Wills and Estates you can check out our previous blog on that very topic here : ‘What is a will?’

But what if the Executor doesn’t want to administer the Will? What can they do about it? Are they able to resign from the role of Executor? This is a pretty common situation for people to be in, it (being an Executor) is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you do not wish to be the Executor in the first place, the number one most important step to prevent it from occurring is simple. Ensure that you do not take any steps or show any interest in becoming the Executor of someone’s Will!


If however you initially indicate that you would be happy to be someone’s Executor and at a later date have a change of heart, it is possible for you to resign/quit/renounce your position as the Executor of the Will. To do this you must fill out a ‘Renunciation of Probate’ form which is then filed at the Court at the same time the application for Probate is made. The form should be signed by you before an adult witness and then should be filed at the Equity Registry of the Supreme Court. You must also ensure that there is someone else willing and able to step into your shoes as Executor. A deceased persons estate cannot be left without somebody to administer it. So if you are the only named Executor of a persons Will and wish to renounce your position, you are responsible for finding someone to become the Executor.

There are also other details that you must be aware of if this situation is one you could find yourself in.

You are only able to renounce your executorship in the aforementioned way if:

  • Probate has not been granted;
  • You have not taken any steps to administer the estate; and
  • You have done nothing to indicate you have accepted the position of Executor.

We at Wollerman Shacklock have years of experience handling all things Wills and Estates. If you are in a situation where you do not want to accept the role of executor for whatever reason, do not hesitate to call us on 9707 1155 or send us an email at

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