Have you ever wondered how to become executor of an estate after a death of a close friend or loved one? While we’ve written in the past about the important role an executor plays in securing, managing and liquidating the estate of a beloved friend or family member, this is one topic we’ve yet to tackle.
Most executors are named in the will left behind by the deceased individual and are aware of their upcoming responsibilities. But what happens when there is no will, or when the will fails to appoint an executor or names an executor who is also deceased?
In those cases, you can petition the court to become executor of your loved one’s estate, assuming you can meet certain requirements put forth by the state. For example, some states require an executor to be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind, must never have been convicted of a felony, reside in the same state of the deceased, etc. Many state probate court websites will explain the procedure for becoming an executor and provide the necessary forms and instructions.
If and when the court grants your petition to serve as executor for the deceased individual, it will then issue to you the appropriate documents officially naming you the executor of the will.
A much easier way to assure your executor duties would be to have a discussion with your friend or relative while they are still of sound mind and health, so that the appointment can be documented in the individual’s will. This will save much time and effort down the road.
Once you have become executor and take on that role following the loss of your friend or loved one, there’s no shame if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the process. If that’s the case, you may want to consult with an experienced estate attorney who can assist and guide you through the entire process.
The role of the executor is vital and it should never be taken lightly. Think of it as the ultimate and final favor for someone who placed your trust second to none.