Being named the executor of a loved one’s will is a huge responsibility. That is why you must ensure you are fully prepared for the many tasks involved.
According to Kiplinger, executors are responsible for paying debts, dispersing assets, and handling estate disputes. Here are a few things to keep in mind should you assume the role.
You must inventory the estate
While some estates are rather easy to administer, some people have hidden assets, property in other states, and unknown financial accounts. In this case, it is up to you to locate all assets and organize their documentation in a meaningful way.
You must meet with the family
The executor must communicate to the family the contents of the will. In the event the will leaves out certain heirs or heirs receive a different inheritance than they believed they would get, these conversations are often difficult. That is why estate planners should inform families of their intention before their passing.
You must get copies of the death certificate
The death certificate is essential for closing accounts and informing creditors of a person’s passing. It is up to you to request as many copies as you need to carry out these tasks.
You must keep deadlines in mind
Lots of these tasks are time-sensitive. It is important for executors to understand when things are due and make sure they can meet these requirements. Failure to do so could impact the estate and incur additional fines and penalties.
If a loved one informs you that they are naming you as executor, you should ask many questions. You should also inform them if you do not think you are up to the job. While it is an honor, you should not accept the position unless you are fully prepared.