We do a lot of probate here at the Jacobson Law Firm, and it's a great privilege to serve families in that sometimes-challenging arena, especially when a will is being probated shortly after the death of the family member and the grieving process is ongoing. Sometimes the challenge is that family members are impatient to get the estate probated (to "get what's coming to me", or to just get it over with). This can lead to unfair pressure on the executor, who actually has four years to probate a will, though people don't usually wait that long. The person you name in your will as the executor of your estate should be able to withstand this kind of pressure without getting too annoyed, angry or fed up. If your spouse isn't that kind of personality, consider (after discussing with said spouse) naming an adult child or sibling who has a tougher hide.
Sometimes the problem is that the person named as executor has absolutely no interest in serving in that capacity, or actively refuses. We've had clients who named a prodigal child as executor, thinking that this vote of confidence would somehow change that child into a responsible adult. Don't! We've had to chase unwilling executors literally around the world to get them to either do the job or waive their right to serve, all because of something that happened years ago that never got resolved (or forgiven). An executor who has had a falling out with you or your family and is no longer in your life IS NOT THE PERSON YOU WANT IN CHARGE OF YOUR ESTATE.
As always, the above is legal information, not legal advice, and it's based on Texas law because I'm a Texas lawyer. Each case has its own unique facts, so be sure to consult an experienced probate lawyer if you find yourself in the position of being - or needing - an executor.
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