How A Lawyer Can Help You Be An Effective Executor

Posted on: 7 July 2022

When you have been named an executor and must administer an estate, you might be worried about the responsibilities that have been laid at your feet. Being an estate administrator can be very difficult, but as long as you're aware of the common mistakes made during the administration of an estate and are working with a probate attorney, you will be much more likely to succeed as an executor. 

Don't Put Off the Process

You will want to get started with executing the estate as soon as possible. Many executors procrastinate and end up missing important windows that could lead to money being saved. For example, some states allow you to receive a discount on your inheritance tax if you file soon enough.

Act in Good Faith

By being the executor, you are expected to act in good faith in the best interest of the estate. You might be held financially responsible if you mishandle the estate by missing a deadline or not distributing assets properly.

Keep Accurate Records

To make sure that you meet your responsibilities as an executor, you will want to make sure that you keep correct accounting records. You will need adequate documentation when you are paying taxes, distributing assets, or when you are reporting to the government. 

When accounting, you will need to make sure that you use the right schedules and use itemized entries instead of lump entries. You must show:

  • Market values
  • Dividends
  • Losses
  • Interest payments
  • Values
  • Gains

If you do not document everything that you are doing with the estate, you might be questioned by one of the heirs or even the judge.

Communicate with the Beneficiaries 

The beneficiaries will likely be eager to communicate with you as the executor because they will want to know when they will receive their inheritances and will want to make sure that the money is in good hands. Make sure to remain in close contact with the beneficiaries and answer any questions they have.

Hire an Experienced Probate Lawyer

A probate lawyer who has decades of experience will allow you to avoid making mistakes that could cost you financially or could cause you to hurt the beneficiaries. In addition to helping you avoid making mistakes, a probate lawyer can help you save time by assisting you when completing much of the documentation. Then, you will be able to fulfill your duties as an executor.

Reach out to a probate lawyer near you for more information.