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California Probate, Will & Trust Lawyer > Blog > Probate > Warning Signs the Testator Chose the Wrong Executor

Warning Signs the Testator Chose the Wrong Executor


In probate law, an executor is the person in charge of settling a person’s estate after they die and carrying out their final wishes. To many, naming a spouse, adult child, or another close family member as the executor feels like the best thing to do. However, an executor does not have to be a close family member. In California, for a person to be able to serve as the executor of a decedent’s estate, they simply need to be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. California even allows people with felony convictions and people from other states to serve as executors. However, before choosing an executor, it is vital to consider if they are the best choice. Not taking time to consider whether an individual is the best choice could result in a testator (the person making the Will) choosing the wrong executor. Unfortunately, choosing the wrong executor can cause significant problems during the probate process and cost the estate and beneficiaries.

If you recently lost a loved one, you may be wondering how you can tell if your loved one left their estate in the hands of the right or wrong executor. Below, we share some warning signs your deceased loved one chose the wrong executor;

Sign #1: The Executor Is Too Busy

Administering an estate can take time. Sometimes, the probate process can take months or more than a year. Therefore, an executor must have enough time on their hands. An executor must be able to commit their time to the probate process. If the executor your loved one chose is too busy, for example, if they are overwhelmed or preoccupied with work, they may not be the best person for the job.

Sign #2: The Executor Has Poor Management or Organization Skills

Administering an estate is a complex process that requires someone with management and organization skills. If a person has poor management or organization skills, they may make mistakes during the probate process that end up costing the estate and/or beneficiaries. If the executor your loved one chose is someone with poor management or organization skills, it is a sign your loved one chose the wrong person for the job.

Sign #3: The Executor Disagrees With the Decedent’s Wishes

A Will contains a decedent’s last wishes. Among other things, a Will may include instructions for end-of-life care, funeral, and how estate assets will be divided among beneficiaries. If an executor disagrees with the decedent’s wishes, it may not be possible for them to carry out the decedent’s last wishes, which is what an executor should do.

Sign #4: The Executor Has a Pattern of Lying

If someone has a pattern of dishonesty or lying, it may be a sign that they are the wrong executor. While there is a system in place to prevent executors from acting improperly, the court and the beneficiaries cannot oversee everything an executor does. Even the “smallest” lie can cause significant problems and end up costing the estate or beneficiaries.

In conclusion, you should know that according to California law, if an executor acts in a particular manner that goes against the law or the Will, you can have the court remove them from office. For example, if an executor wastes, mismanages, or neglects the estate, you can ask the court to remove them.

Contact The Probate Guy

If you need legal help, contact the skilled and dedicated California probate attorney, Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy – to schedule a telephonic consultation.

Southern California Probate Lawyer Serving Orange, Riverside, Anaheim, Whittier & Beyond.

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I love being a probate attorney. I love helping people through a very difficult time in their lives with the probate process. My practice focuses solely on probate matters. My job is to complete the probate process as efficiently and painlessly for my clients as possible. I have found that paying the upfront costs of probate adds unneeded stress, so I will advance all of the fees and costs for the probate. No money is required to complete the probate. I will be reimbursed at the end of the case when you receive your inheritance. Call me NOW to discuss your case for free.

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