If you find yourself the executor of a will or trust, you know that you have been staffed with a big responsibility.
While there are many steps you need to take to push the process forward, you don't want to get too far ahead of yourself. Unfortunately, you could be held liable for any mistake that you make. This is why you need to be careful about everything you do.
Here are the biggest challenges facing executors. Being aware of these upfront can help you avoid trouble down the road:
- Time commitment
- Having access and knowledge to a variety of personal and financial information
- Having sufficient financial knowledge
- Filing tax returns and other important tax documents
- Distributing assets in the appropriate manner
- Lack of compensation for the time they spend on the process
- Sharing decisions with others, such as a co-executor
Along with the above, many executors find it difficult to deal with loved ones of the deceased. This is not always a problem, but there are times when one person feels that they are not being treated fairly.
If you are going to take on the responsibility of being an executor, it's important to know what to expect at every turn of the road. This includes the many challenges that can move to the forefront.
Any concerns about being an executor should be taken care of before the process begins. Furthermore, if a challenge arises along the way, you'll want to take a step back and find a resolution before moving forward. You have a big responsibility, so you need to treat it as such.
Source: Wall Street Journal, "The Biggest Mistakes Executors Make," accessed Aug. 22, 2017