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Can I change the executor in my will without an attorney? If so, should the change be written and notarized?

Youngsville, NC |

Original attorney in another state is deceased. Should the will be revised to show current address?

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Attorney answers 4


You do not have to have an attorney prepare a new will or codicil, but I recommend it. Wills and codicils have to meet certain requirements that can easily be omitted or done incorrectly.


I agree with my colleague. I would suggest that you meet with an estate planning attorney. A Will may no longer be the best estate planning option for you. You should look into this with an attorney before deciding how to proceed. You also need durable power of attorney forms, at the very least.

James Frederick

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You post a couple of questions. First, what do you mean that the attorney in another state is deceased? Was the will drafted in another state? Or did you name the attorney in the other state to be your executor and you now wish to change the executor? And why do you need to change an address?

If you had the will drafted somewhere else and relocated to NC, then you need to have your will reviewed by an NC attorney to make sure its valid here. To be valid a will must be witnessed by 2 people who are not beneficiaries under the will. To be self-proving, the will must be notarized.

Any codicils to a will must be executed with the same formality as a will, i.e., it must be witnessed by 2 people who are not beneficiaries under the will. Notarization is again required to make the codicil self-proving. By self-proving I mean that if you died, the executor would not have to try to find the witnesses and call them in to court to state that yes, its your will. Witnesses die or become sick and its much easier to just have the testator and witnesses all sign at the same time in front of a notary so that your executor never needs to worry about this.

You do not need an attorney - if you are just changing the name of an executor from executor A to executor B. However, it really helps to have an attorney involved in the process especially if you are making other changes to the will.

Wills are not all that expensive. You would not attempt to do brain surgery on yourself unless you were a medical doctor (and even then most doctors get other doctors)., right? Lawyers are trained to handle legal problems. Don't try to save yourself some money and end up leaving your loved ones a costly lawsuit instead of an inheritance.

Regarding your question about changing an address, it depends on how the will is written. If you lived at address A and left your real property at address A to a beneficiary, and you moved to NC and no longer own real property at address A, then any bequest is considered adeemed so you might need to change an address if you want the beneficiary to receive your current real property. But if your will reads that you leave any real property to a beneficiary, then you would already be covered and don't need to add this. But then, I don't know exactly what you are referring to without looking at the whole document and knowing what you are trying to do.

As I said, wills are more affordable than you think. I would rest easier knowing that you had it done right than you trying to do it yourself. I can look at your will and revise via codicil or do a new will for a reasonable fee. Please contact me at if interested.


There are not laws that say only an attorney can draft or change provisions within a will. However, hiring an attorney will give you peace of mind that what needs to be done was done correctly. Oftentimes, the motive behind estate planning is to relieve or lessen probate and or other administrative burdens on those you leave behind. So it doesn't make sense not to hire counsel and run the risk of messing something up that your loved ones will have to fix down the road.

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