In California, you don’t have to serve as executor if you decide that you aren’t the best fit. You should ask yourself a series of important questions before you accept an executor nomination. This role comes with a lot of responsibilities, and the state will hold you liable if you don’t uphold your responsibilities as executor.
Are you willing to handle all of the tasks as executor?
You should know all of the tasks you need to handle as an executor before accepting the nomination. Executors are responsible for filing the deceased’s taxes, distributing the estate to creditors and beneficiaries, and honoring the wishes of the deceased throughout the process. There are deadlines you have to meet for each of the tasks. In some circumstances, you can get an extension, but you will still have deadlines.
Are you willing to work with professionals?
You might have to consult with attorneys, financial advisors and CPAs during the process of estate administration. Working with professionals makes the process go faster and more smoothly. You may come across some legal questions you want clarity on as well.
Do you have a good relationship with the beneficiaries?
If you don’t have a good relationship with the beneficiaries, conflict may arise as you attempt to fulfill your duties as executor. You must ask yourself if you have the capacity and desire to handle potential conflict.
How close are you to the estate?
As an executor, you are responsible for finding and taking care of all of the estate’s assets. Thus, you must take where you live into consideration. Ask yourself if you have the time and financial means to take care of the estate from where you live.
Although it’s an honor for someone to trust you as executor of their estate, it’s important to be honest with them about your capacity to fulfill the role. Answering the above questions will help you come to a decision on whether to accept the nomination.