If you were asked to be the executor (often called personal representative) of a loved one's estate, that obviously means that trust was imposed in you regarding a very important matter.
You were likely honored by the appointment, and accepted. Many people do.
And now you might be wondering what it is exactly that you signed on for. After all, being the executor of an estate is far from a customary role for most people, and many questions logically arise concerning a representative's right and responsibilities.
Here's something that might be reasonably assumed regarding the appointment: it is likely that you are going to want some help.
That is explicitly noted in a recent article on an executor's burdens relevant to winding down and closing an estate. That media piece stresses the importance of having timely and direct input from a tested estate administration in order to "help you avoid mistakes" that can put things awry and additionally spur personal liability.
There are many things that an executor must typically attend to even with comparatively simple estates.
We note those on a page of our Alameda County estate planning website discussing a personal representative's duties. Among other things, they centrally include:
- Documenting and securing assets of all types
- Timely contacting heirs and/or beneficiaries
- Paying creditors and filing estate taxes
- Submitting the estate to probate and managing the process throughout
Duly complying with all those matters can be materially challenging, and a proven estate planning lawyer is poised to help in a manner that ensures probate proceeds in the most efficient and trouble-free way possible.
Questions or concerns regarding any aspect of an executor's prerogatives or responsibilities can be duly directed to a seasoned probate attorney.