If you find yourself named in a will as the executor of someone’s estate, your new role may feel overwhelming. After all, being an executor is something that most of us do only once or twice in a lifetime, and of course there’s a learning curve before we’re really comfortable with the process. The world of probate courts, lawyers, wills, and legal documents is unfamiliar and can be intimidating.
Add to that the fact that your new duties come at a difficult time. You’ve lost someone important to you-perhaps the most important person in your life. If the circumstances of the death were especially painful, just getting through daily life may feel daunting-never mind taking on a whole set of new legal and practical tasks. You may feel that you simply do not possess the energy necessary to sort through records, make phone calls, and make decisions.It may take some time before you can attend to all these matters. It will also take time, diligence, and patience. But you can do it, with information from books and websites, and help from family, friends, and professionals.You may be surprised to find that working your way through the elements of your job as executor, steadily tying up loose ends, can be satisfying. It is a way both of honoring the wishes of the person who has died and of performing a useful service to those still living. It is a way of saying good-bye and moving on.