You may have always been someone who enjoyed taking on responsibilities. You may have done your best to thrive at your job and often took the time to organize family events. As a result, you may not have felt surprised when a loved one as you to act as executor of his or her estate.
Now that your loved one has passed, you will certainly have a number of obligations to contend with, and this role may differ from many other responsibilities you handled in the past. Therefore, you may want to fully understand the importance of your role as executor.
Once you step into your executor shoes, you have a fiduciary duty to the estate and its beneficiaries. This duty means that you must act responsibly and in a trustworthy manner. The decisions you make during the probate process must benefit the estate, and you cannot make choices for personal gain. You must closely follow the wishes of the deceased as he or she dictated in estate planning documents, like a will. If you do not follow these instructions, you could face accusations of breaching your fiduciary duty.
In addition to not following the decedent's wishes, you could make a number of other mistakes while acting as executor. Unfortunately, any mistake could cause major issues for the probate process. Because these proceedings involve California laws, you could end up making a mistake if you do not understand those laws. It may work in your best interests to bring in experienced help to ensure that you do not make errors relating to estate finances or when following the steps of probate.
Because you thrive under pressure and relish responsibility, you may feel perfectly suited for the role of executor. That mindset can prove useful during this often-stressful process. You may have to contend with disputes from beneficiaries or other parties related to the estate, and you need to keep a level head. Additionally, you will need to make sure that no one attempts to take the deceased's property before asset distribution takes place. You will face a number of complicated duties, and staying on top of your tasks may help you.
You may also want to take the time to gain information on the probate process before the proceedings get fully underway. Knowing what to expect could help you feel more confident in completing your duties. You may find it beneficial to speak with an attorney who can help you begin the process and guide you through the rest of the way.