How to be an executor of a will

Successfully carrying out the task of closing a deceased family member's estate may require an executor to probate the will, secure assets, notify beneficiaries and more. California residents who have done this job have benefited from working with attorneys, accountants and financial and insurance advisors. Unfortunately, executors often make mistakes that can easily be avoided by having the right frame of mind and remembering a few basic things.

It's good to remember the end goal in regard to probate/estate administration. The executor's role is to move the estate forward and close it within a reasonable amount of time. An executor will likely deal with negative consequences if they use their role to bring up past family issues or to go on a power trip. They will need to be somewhat humble to do their job well.

If an executor ignores beneficiaries, they may be removed from this position. They have a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries. Part of their job is keeping beneficiaries up to date. They also need to avoid favoring one beneficiary. Doing this will cause unnecessary problems and could also lead to the executor being removed.

It is good to keep in mind that an executor is personally liable. Should major issues emerge, the court could hold the executor personally responsible to fix any damage that has been caused.

Most individuals who are appointed executors will want to do their jobs well. They may benefit from consulting with an estate and probate attorney. Legal counsel could advise their client on the distribution of assets, asset valuation and more. They may even represent the client in litigation if it is necessary.

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