My sister was named as Executor, and myself to be the alternate Executor if she is unable to perform. She chooses not to be the Executor. Do I need to file any paperwork with the courts to show that I will take on the Executor duties?
When filing the initial Petition for Probate (in California), can I list myself as the Executor or does it still need to show my sister as the Executor?
2 Answers from Attorneys
I advise you to retain an attorney who is experienced in probate law, but if must DIY, file the petition asking for you to be appointed executor. Read the form carefully to check the right boxes and attach a signed statement from your sister declining to act as executor.
Check with the Superior Court in the county in which the deceased person resided when they died (that is the probate court you must file in). They likely have a self-help office for people handling their own probate matters. They can help you with the paperwork, and if you need help of a lawyer, they will let you know that (they can't give legal advice). If they suggest you find a lawyer, try the lawyer referral service of the county bar association in that county.