Those in California who take the time to plan their estates often have to make difficult decisions. Among those delicate choices may be the naming of an executor. This is not a decision to be made lightly or hastily, for example, simply naming the oldest child to the position. Because an executor is responsible for completing many vital tasks to carry an estate through probate, it is important that the testator chose a person with certain qualities.
In most states, an executor must be bonded so that heirs are protected against someone who might try to misappropriate assets from the estate. Someone with poor credit or delinquent debt may not be able to obtain this bonding. In addition, the testator will want to choose an executor who is younger to reduce the possibility of the executor passing away before the testator. One way to circumvent this is to make a general appointment, such as naming any children who have reached a certain age.
Minimizing drama is always preferred when selecting someone to be the executor of an estate. If siblings are at odds and one is named the executor, the other may drag out probate just for spite. This may be done by challenging the actions of the executor or finding other ways to make the executor’s job more difficult.
Few people have the experience with probate that an attorney has, and many chosen executors quickly find that the assistance of a California attorney relieves many of the burdens of being an executor. However, many estate holders simply name an attorney as their executors. Although it may cost an additional fee, some find it is worth the peace of mind knowing their estates will be managed efficiently by someone with knowledge and experience.
Source: kiplinger.com, “7 Tips for Choosing the Right Executor,” Daniel A. Timins, Oct. 28, 2017