Can a person relinquish their rights to be a co-executrix but then name someone to replace them?

My mother and her sister are the surviving children of a parent who has passed with no will. My mother lives out of state. In order to obtain a short certificate she was told she needed to post a $5,00.00 bond. She would like to relinquish her rights and name her eldest daughter as a replacement since she's in the same state as her aunt & where the deceased resided. Is this a valid avenue or are there any other possibilities?

Bensalem, PA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Jay G. Fischer

Jay G. Fischer

Estate Planning Attorney - Downingtown, PA

When someone in PA dies without a will state law determines who is entitled to be the personal representative of the estate. Since your mother and sister are the intestate beneficiaries, they are both entitle to serve and would become co-administrators. If your mother renunciates her right to serve, I think the Register of Wills would appoint your aunt as sole Administrator. Your mother's situation is one of the reasons for people to prepare a Will, even when they have few assets. Generally, the Will waives the requirement of a bond for out of state personal representatives.

NOTE: Mr. Fischer is an attorney licensed to practice in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at 610-269-0900 Ext 2 or... more
Marshall D. Chriswell

Marshall D. Chriswell

Estate Planning Attorney - Indiana, PA

Yes, your mother may file a renunciation with the Register of Wills, and in that document she may recommend that her daughter be appointed instead. The final decision will, however, be up to the court.

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Marshall Chriswell

Law Offices of Marshall D. Chriswell
714 Philadelphia St., Suite 200
Indiana, PA 15701
(888) 438-5977
(724) 465-5826


Marshall D. Chriswell is a civil practitioner with offices in Indiana and Clearfield Counties. Mr. Chriswell's practice emphasizes Wills & Estate Planning, Probate, Real Estate, and general civil disputes.


Mr. Chriswell provides free initial consultations, and will gladly meet clients in their homes upon request, including on the evenings or weekends.

This communication does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship. If you... more
Charles Anthony Rick

Charles Anthony Rick

Estate Planning Attorney - Pottstown, PA

She can certainly refuse and then reccomend someone else, however it will be up to the court to determine who should take her place..It won't be your mother's decision.

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