Recently, you learned a loved one appointed you as executor of her or his estate, and you want to learn as much as possible about the role. What pitfalls should you make yourself aware of?
Forbes shares common executor blunders. Rather than make your own mistakes with a friend’s or relative’s assets and trust, learn from others’ slip-ups.
Include the beneficiaries
When you learn whom your loved one selected as beneficiaries in the will, keep those individuals in the loop when the time comes to settle the estate. If they dislike how you handle the role, which may include neglecting your fiduciary duties to them, they may try to replace you.
Think carefully about who probates the will
You could know someone with legal experience, but you cannot work with just any legal professional when serving as executor. Any lawyer you partner with must have a background in estate planning or probate litigation. Otherwise, the individual may become a liability.
Rather than feel intimidated by the idea of being an executor, some individuals feel a sense of power. Executors should remain focused on their role rather than get caught up with the influence they have over others’ lives. Remain honest with yourself when deciding if you should accept an executor’s responsibilities.
Remember your personal liability
Another reason to do a great job as an executor is that you may bear personal liability if things do not turn out well. If you do not move the estate forward or engage in dishonest practices, such as looking for ways to make money for yourself, you could lose your own assets.
You have a lot of work ahead as you execute your loved one’s will. You may make the job easier by getting a lay of the legal land.