In your will, you’ll name the person who is responsible for closing out your estate affairs. Depending on your advanced planning and the volume of assets inside your estate, this could be a process that takes months or even years.
Being proactive by thinking about what this experience will be like for your executor/personal representative can make this job easier for them and increase the chances that your beneficiaries will get access to what they need sooner rather than later.
Your executor plays a critical role in the administration of your estate but you will not be around to help guide them through this process or answer their questions. Both probate and non-probate proceedings can be complicated but your executor will be appointed to handle the probate process.
You can make their job easier by locating and storing important documents for the purposes of estate administration. This can include advanced directives, military papers, contracts, wills, records of ownership like deeds and titles, and personal legal documents like property settlements or prenuptial agreements.
While your estate administrator or executor is not responsible for the memorial service or funeral, it is the executor’s job to make sure funds are available after probate if the decedent states these payments for these services in his or her will.
Furthermore, the person you appoint should be someone in whom you can place your confidence about being able to do the job and keep beneficiaries update. Since an executor has a fiduciary duty to uphold the interests of the beneficiaries and to close out the estate in a timely manner, you’ll want to choose someone who understands this role and feels confident with all the requirements.
For a better understanding of probate and how an executor can help close out your estate after you pass away, now is a good opportunity to meet with an estate planning attorney in Pasadena to discuss your options.