Updated 5 October 2019
Renouncing probate is what you can do if you are named as executor in a deceased person’s will, and do not want to take on the role. You are not obliged to, but you need to take steps to put that into effect as soon as practical.
Can an executor resign?
There is no requirement that a named executor in a will must accept the role of executorship, even if you had agreed with the willmaker that you would.
So in other words, can you resign as executor of an estate? Yes, providing you have not intermeddled in the estate already, see further below on what intermeddling means.
If you don’t wish to act when the time comes, and you have not dealt with estate property, you can give up the right to do so. It means you give up your appointment as an executor, commonly called renouncing probate. In renouncing probate you are renouncing the executorship, in other words resigning. It means you renounce or give up your right to apply for probate of the deceased’s will; sometimes expressed as to ‘renounce probate’.