Choosing the Right Executor / Personal Representative in West Hills, CA

An executor is someone who is responsible for overseeing the process of paying debts owed by an estate and transferring the remainder to the beneficiaries or heirs. It can be a difficult job, but it is important to have someone in this position who is organized, diplomatic, and ideally doesn’t operate with a huge ego! Even families with excellent relationships will find themselves in moments of contention during this process.  

While the family has a large say in who will act as Executor, the final decision is on the judge, and even if someone was named as Executor in the will, it doesn’t mean they will accept that role or be appointed. If you do not have an executor appointed, the court will appoint someone to take on this role on the family’s behalf. 

If you take on the role of Executor, you play a large role in how easy or difficult your job becomes. By staying organized, maintaining excellent communication with the attorney and other professionals as well as additional heirs, and practicing transparency while asking for feedback will help maintain calm waters and smooth sailing. Often, family members not named as Executor can feel slighted, so including them in the process even though they don’t shoulder the same level of responsibility, will make them feel valued.

That being said, nothing ensures you will escape an unreasonable heir, and sometimes mediation is the best course of action. Don’t wait until everyone “digs in” and the relationship is under extreme strain, as this can make coming to an agreement a lot more difficult than it should be. Sometimes practicing vulnerability and moving negotiations to a third party can be your fastest and easiest option. It can be difficult to appreciate all the skills these professionals utilize to come to a peaceful agreement, but you would be amazed at how the right words and questions at the appropriate times can fast-track you to resolution. If you need a recommendation for a skilled family mediator, please reach out and we can put you in touch.

Getting probate help should be easy

Going through probate here in West Hills, CA, can be tough, and you shouldn’t have to do it alone. There are resources available to help you make purposeful decisions and keep you and your family from being taken advantage of in your unique situation. Click here to schedule a worry-free conversation and get all of your questions answered.