Perhaps when you agreed to become executor of your uncle’s estate, the death of this hearty man seemed improbable and certainly a long way off.
Now that time has come, and you are suddenly in charge of administering the estate. Here are five tips to help you succeed in this new role.
1. Do not rush
The more assets there are, the more complex your job as executor will be. You may want to discharge your duties in the most expedient way possible, but this could lead to making mistakes. Take your time. There are many obligations in the administration of an estate: The basics alone include paying debts, filing taxes, protecting the assets, and finally distributing them per the instructions in your uncle’s will. Do not try to skip ahead too quickly or you might skip over some important details.
2. Stay organized
There is a lot of paperwork in estate administration, and you may feel overwhelmed at first. Stay organized. Use task lists and check items off as soon as you complete them.
3. Follow instructions
You must follow the instructions of the court. Everything you do as executor must occur at the proper time in the administration process.
4. Stay connected
The beneficiaries may not realize how long it takes to settle an estate and will be anxious to receive information. Keep in contact and update them on your progress, especially as you meet important milestones.
5. Ask for help
One of the reasons your uncle may have asked you to serve as his executor is your common-sense approach to problems. Do not hesitate to ask for help from professionals, such as an accountant or an appraiser. You can look to an attorney for ongoing assistance in your work and to help you avoid any legal missteps.