Has someone asked you to be the executor of their will? If so, you probably feel duly honored! However, before you accept the duty, there are some things that you should stop to consider.
Being the executor of an estate is a big responsibility. Here are the things you should consider.
1. Are you physically and emotionally up to the task?
Organizational skills, not knowledge, are key to an executor's success. You don't have to be an accountant, attorney, or some kind of financial genius to manage an estate. You can hire people to handle the details. However, you do need to be organized, responsible enough to know when you need help, able to communicate clearly and effectively, and occasionally willing to make difficult choices -- especially if the heirs of the estate are pressing you for decisions.
It isn't wise to take on the role of an executor if you have too many personal commitments already, have difficulty maintaining your schedule, or suffer from serious health problems that interfere with your ability to get things done. This requires a big commitment of time and energy, so be prepared.
2. Are you financially stable?
If the estate has any significant value, you're likely to need bonding in order to be sworn in as its executor. A bond is a guarantee, similar to insurance, against any financial mistakes you might make with the estate.
If you have significant financial woes, including liens, delinquencies, and a poor credit rating, you may be considered an unsuitable financial risk by the bonding companies. If so, the court won't allow you to serve. It's better to admit that now than cause your friend's estate to experience a crisis.
3. Are you willing to take on the responsibility?
If there are problems with the estate, it can be tied up for years in court -- which may be far longer than you anticipated dealing with the issue. Take a good look at the heirs involved in the estate and decide if you can handle working with them in your official capacity as executor for several years. There's no shame in backing away from a family dynamic that's sure to involve a lot of drama and conflict.
You also need to be aware of that fact that many estates end up unable to pay all the debts of the deceased. If that happens, your job is making sure that what money is available goes to the creditors according to their legal priority. If you make a mistake, you could be held personally liable.
You have a big decision ahead of you. Before you accept the nod to be the executor of someone's estate, consider talking to an estate administration attorney about the potential problems you might face and use that information when you decide to either accept or decline the task.Share
12 July 2018
Although I am far from perfect, I have focused on abiding by the local laws for the vast majority of my life. Unfortunately, about five years ago, I realized that I was being accused of a crime that I didn't commit. I thought about letting the trial run its course, but then I realized that fighting would be important to ensure my future. I teamed up with a great lawyer, and things became much easier overnight. My legal counsel told me what to do and what to avoid, and he was able to prove the facts in a court of law. This blog is all about choosing to fight charges.