How to Avoid Common Missteps When You’re Executing an Estate
When someone names you as the executor of their estate, it’s a meaningful act. It means they trust you to take care of all their worldly possessions and make sure their last wishes are granted. Bestowing you with this role speaks volumes—telling you that the individual believed wholeheartedly in your management abilities and overall decision-making. They chose you for a reason.
Most people are proud to be named the executor of an estate and honored to take on this responsibility. But what they often find out when it comes time to assume the role is that it’s much harder and more involved than they initially thought. While there’s no professional requirements to be the executor of an estate (you don’t have to be a legal or financial expert), there is a lot of knowledge of laws, processes, and forms required to get the job done effectively.
Many estate executors quickly realize they need help from a professional who’s been through this process before—especially when it comes to more complex estates with a lot of assets. While almost everyone taking on the role of executor goes into it wanting to do right by their loved one and make the best decisions, many just find it to be too confusing or overwhelming. Without the right legal and financial guidance during estate administration, it’s easy to make mistakes.
The resource below includes a list of some common mistakes estate executors often make, along with some tips on how you can avoid them. These common mistakes include:
● Distributing estate money to family members before taxes and liabilities are paid
● Making no attempt to “advertise” the estate so claims from creditors can be placed
● Hurting the value of the estate by not keeping an eye on stocks or other investments
When you’re tasked with the important and meaningful job of executing an estate, you should strongly consider consulting with a financial or legal professional to protect the estate and yourself. Sometimes doing the best job means having the right people on your side to give you the experience and knowledge you need to carry out your loved one’s wishes.
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