Do I need a lawyer to change the executor to my will?

A fellow caregiver asked...

I have a will that a Lawyer drafted when my son was under the age of 18 and I had a friend's name as executor. But now, my son is an adult and I want to remove the friends name as executor, will I need a lawyer for that? I want all and everything to go to my only son....

Expert Answer

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

Your question underscores a very important reality: Most people are content to pat themselves on the back once they've completed a will. But the truth is that life and people are dynamic, so the best advice has always been to take a stern eye to a will periodically"”every year or so"”to make sure it still accurately describes their property, the people they want involved with it"”and their plans for distributing it.

Take a hard look at your will as it is drafted. If the only change is to substitute your son as executor instead of your friend, but the rest of the provisions remain the same, you can do this easily"”by writing in the changes on the will, initialing the changes, and having the document witnessed by two people who do not stand to inherit under the will, just as you likely finalized the original document.

However, if the document as a whole no longer reflects your property or the plan you have in mind for how it should be distributed at your death, then it might be a wise idea for you to considering revoking or retracting your will and replacing it with an updated version"”with or without the help of a lawyer.