An executor or personal representative has a number of responsibilities in administering the estate of a decedent.
If you are about to assume the duties of an executor, how do you succeed in this role and keep from making mistakes?
The administration of an estate involves a great deal of paperwork. The sheer volume may seem overwhelming at first. However, if you make lists, assign categories and stay organized, the job will go more smoothly than you anticipate.
Ease into the work
Resist the urge to hurry along and get things done. You may overlook something important if you move too quickly. Remember that you are legally liable as the executor of an estate.
Communicate with beneficiaries
Keep in touch with the beneficiaries. They likely do not realize how much work there is in settling an estate. They are mainly concerned with the distribution of assets, which comes at the end of the process. Providing updates about your progress will help to stem their impatience.
The administration of an estate is a step-by-step process. Be sure to follow all the rules, regulations, applicable laws and the instructions of the court.
Ask for help
The decedent may have named you as executor for your keen business sense but also for your common sense. You have many duties as the administrator of an estate, and you will no doubt have questions that only professionals in their respective fields can answer. Do not hesitate to ask for help from an accountant, a financial expert or an appraiser, for example. An attorney can assist with all the legal aspects of your work as a personal representative, ensuring that you succeed in the role and avoid making any legal missteps.