If someone appoints you as executor of an estate, I should assume that you have considerable knowledge of will, trust, and everything concerning that estate. So, I can also think that you know this duty could be very complicated.
We found many cases where executors mess things up. Sometimes, things get so complicated that they need to seek help from lawyers. We saw that in many cases, the executors are making the same mistakes.
As it follows a similar pattern, we can pinpoint those mistakes and try to share them with you. So it might help you if you ever become an executor of an estate.
Don’t Waste Time
We know losing someone is very painful. The family, relatives, and friends need time to mourn for their dearly departed one. An appointed executor, assumingly a near one to the deceased, also has to go through the mourning period. But as an executor, he has to remember that the more time will pass, the higher the tax will climb.
So, for the sake of everyone, he/she has to set the probate process in motion as soon as possible.
Don’t be Overhasty on Distribution
When you are appointed an executor, you need to take every decision with caution. You can’t afford to delay the process. But that doesn’t mean that you make a hasty decision on distribution. Make sure that all the liabilities and taxes are being paid before making a large distribution. If some beneficiary charges you for partiality, things can go to the courtroom.
Don’t Think You are All-Powerful
This is one mistake that many executors often do. Don’t think you are high and mighty just that you are being appointed as executor. Remember that you have a lot of responsibilities to handle. One misjudgment could end up in a nasty lawsuit. So don’t abuse your power. Use it accordingly and wisely.
Don’t Ignore the Beneficiaries
You have to keep your cool when you deal with the beneficiaries. I must say that some of the beneficiaries could act very illogically and make unjustified demands. But ignoring them will make the whole situation worse. You must sit with every beneficiary individually and talk through the problem. If you don’t do that, they will probably seek to remove you.
Fail to Hire a Lawyer
The whole probate process is complicated. Many executors want to take things on their hands. This might not be a good idea. There are many things you could mess up as an executor. My suggestion is to seek advice from a good lawyer. Then the whole process will be smooth, and less controversy will arise.
Fail to Detailing Records
When it comes to recording everything, nonprofessionals seem to give less attention. They feel many things trivial or unnecessary to note down. But jobs like estate administration needs a detailed record. Record everything, even if you don’t feel necessary. Trust me, you will find it helpful later.
Fail to close the estate properly
It’s a common mistake for many executors. They think that as long as the assets are distributed, their job is done. Make sure that you pay all the debt and taxes. You may want to hire an accountant to do these sorts of jobs.
Do not favor
We have to deal with these kinds of cases more than you can think of. You could face legal problems if you favor one beneficiary over another. My suggestion is to listen to everyone’s side and check the documents properly before distributing assets and money.
The Bottom Line
I must say that the job of an executor is not an easy one. You have to consider many things before making a move. You could be in the middle of a family dispute. You have to be very diplomatic and thoughtful throughout the whole process. Your one mistake could mess things up very badly.
Before starting the whole process, try to make a rough framework of your course of action. It would be best if you take assistance from an experienced probate lawyer from the beginning. With the right kind of advice, the whole process will be more straightforward. If you need any help regarding estate administration, don’t bother to contact us.