When you agreed to become an executor, you may not have understood everything the role requires. Perhaps you even worry about making mistakes.
Learning about the key roles of an executor may help you build confidence in acting as one. Here are five tips to help you carry out your duties successfully.
1. Take your time
Administering an estate is a job you must not rush because you risk making mistakes, which could lead to legal liability. Remember that your duties as an executor will likely take months to complete.
2. Follow instructions
There are rules attached to serving as the executor of an estate. From the day you file the decedent’s will with the probate court to the final distribution of assets, you must follow the instructions of the court without exception.
3. Stay organized
One way to reduce the stress you might feel as executor is to stay organized. You have many different kinds of tasks to complete and the best way to keep up with them is to make lists. There is also considerable paperwork involved, but if you remain organized in dealing with it the job will seem more manageable.
4. Keep in touch
The beneficiaries will want to know about the progress you are making in your administration of the estate. Communicate with them. Keep them informed, especially when you reach important milestones. You may have to exercise patience with heirs who do not realize how much time you need to complete your work.
5. Ask for help
You should not feel that you have to complete your responsibilities alone. Ask for professional help. You may need the advice of an accountant, for example, and an attorney can step in and keep you from making any legal missteps. With professional help as needed, you will complete your duties as an executor successfully.