An appointment as the executor of an estate is an enormous task that, at times, may seem overwhelming.
You want to manage your duties successfully, but how do you avoid making missteps that could land you in legal hot water?
What the role entails
In the work of administering a decedent’s estate, you will protect assets, pay debts, file taxes, and finally, distribute the assets to beneficiaries per the instructions in the will. Settling an estate is a lengthy process. Making lists helps. You must be sure to follow the instructions of the court at each step. It will also be important to stay in contact with the beneficiaries and update them on your progress. Some may be more impatient than others and you must exercise tact in dealing with them.
Why the decedent chose you
The decedent may have considered several candidates for the role of executor, but obviously, you were on the shortlist. You may be the spouse or close relative of the person who died, as is often the case. However, you may also be a close friend. In all likelihood, given the nature of the executor’s responsibilities, you are probably an organized person who is not afraid of paperwork and who possesses common sense, a trait many people appreciate in the administrator they choose.
How you can succeed
Know when to ask for help. Professional assistance is always available. You may need to contact an accountant or an appraiser. You will definitely need the guidance of an attorney who can answer your questions, help with procedures and keep you from making missteps so you can complete your work as an executor with great success.