A loved one's passing can take a significant toll on any California resident. Everyone deals with grief in his or her own way, and it can prove challenging to work through such an experience. Of course, some parties may have more to address during this time if they choose to take on the role of executor of the estate.
If a loved one has asked you to take on this role, you may immediately want to accept it because you do not want to offend your loved one or make the situation more difficult. However, you need to understand what you could be setting yourself up for. Probate can be a long and difficult process to complete, so you may want to ensure that you have the qualities and abilities needed to handle it.
What factors should you consider?
As mentioned, probate can be a long process, so one of the first factors you may want to look into is whether you will have the time to handle all the necessary aspects of closing your loved one's estate. You will need to gather assets, protect those assets, handle outstanding debts of the estate and represent the estate should any lawsuit come against it. As you can probably tell, these and many other tasks will take a lot of effort and may seem like another full-time job.
You may also want to assess your overall temperament when it comes to handling conflict and stress. If you thrive under pressure and believe that you are someone who can mitigate conflict easily and without becoming overly angered, you may suit the role. However, if you find stress overwhelming and do not handle conflict well, acting as executor may not fit your personality.
What are your skills?
Other details to consider are your abilities, skills and knowledge. Do you know how to handle estate taxes? Have you ever completed a real estate transaction? Do you feel confident in your ability to handle someone else's financial affairs? These and other skills can play important parts in probate, and if you do not feel that you have the ability to successfully complete each task, someone else may handle the obligations better.
Of course, you do not have to try to work through every aspect of probate alone, and it may allow you to feel more confident to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side. This legal advocate could help you understand each step you need to take and the best approaches to completing them.