One part of estate planning involves designating a person to take charge of your estate after you die. Since many believe in the keep it in the family motto, they automatically choose a relative—typically an adult child—to act as an estate administrator.
Sometimes, adult children do an excellent job managing and closing out their parent’s estate. However, family expectations and biological connection should not be the sole reason you elect your adult child.
Estate administration duties
You might not know it but taking over another person’s estate is physically and mentally taxing. Not everyone has the natural ability to handle the job effectively. A few of the many duties inherent to estate administration include:
- Cancel credit and financial accounts
- Deal with probate court when necessary
- Manage estate assets until distributed
- Pay off estate tax and debt obligations
- Find and gather the deceased’s property
- Locate heirs and beneficiaries named in the will
Those without an affinity for math and numbers may find it challenging to fill the role of administrator.
Qualities to look for in an executor
Whether considering your child or other people, there are certain characteristics that usually indicate a good fit. Choose someone with these or similar qualities.
- Detail oriented
- Emotionally mature
- Follows instructions well
- Physically and mentally fit
- Skilled at managing financial issues
Your estate administrator should also have the time to manage your affairs. If any of your candidates already have many demands taking up their time, ask them if they want to be considered for the role. We also suggest familiarizing yourself with California estate and probate laws for additional guidance in choosing your administrator.