When you agreed to assume the role of executor, you might have put the idea aside, thinking it would not happen for a long time.
The time is now, however, and you feel apprehensive about your ability to take on this responsibility. Here are four tips to help you succeed as an executor.
1. Protecting assets
Once you have filed letters testamentary and the court has acknowledged your status as executor of the estate, your work can begin. The deceased may have left you a list of assets and debts. If not, you will have to locate items such as the decedent’s checking, savings, investment and credit card accounts, information about the ownership of real property, antiques and collectibles and business interests. As executor, you will be responsible for paying bills, filing taxes, protecting investments and finally, distributing the remaining assets.
2. Communicating with beneficiaries
It is important to develop a good relationship with each of the beneficiaries. One way to do this is to keep them up to date on your progress. The duties of an executor take months to complete. Keeping beneficiaries in the loop as you achieve milestones will help to curb their impatience as they await distribution.
3. Taking your time
Remember that as the executor of an estate, you must follow certain rules and regulations. Do not try to rush through the work. Taking your time, and becoming organized and thorough will help you complete your responsibilities successfully.
4. Asking for help
You will have many questions in your work as an executor. Do not hesitate to ask for help from professionals. For example, you may need to contact an accountant, a financial adviser or a real estate agent. Seek guidance from an attorney and ensure that you make no legal missteps.