Being named in someone’s will as the executor is a great honour. However, it is important to know that you are not required to accept the appointment. Before you accept, here are some of the potential hazards an executor should bear in mind.
Often when a parent has more than one child, all children are named as co-executors so as not to show favouritism. This arrangement may not work as smoothly as hoped. Some children could be out of the country, making it difficult to handle the hands-on activities such as securing assets and selling a home.
Additionally, some may lack the financial ability to deal with creditors or fully understand estate tax matters. If co-executors can agree, it is better to allow only one to serve as the executor and the other co-executors simply waive their appointment.
An executor’s job is to secure the assets of the estate and then distribute them according to the deceased person’s wishes.
In some families, heirs can descend on a descendant’s home even before the funeral, cherry-picking heirlooms and other valuables.
An executor should secure the home and other assets as quickly as possible and inform heirs that this is the law.
As an executor, you must pay taxes owed before disbursing inheritances to heirs. If you pay heirs first and do not have sufficient funds in the estate’s checking account to pay taxes, you are personally liable for the taxes.
Executors must explain to heirs that you are not permitted to give them their share until you have settled with creditors and others with a claim against the estate.
The role of executor can be complex and time consuming, and expert legal advice is always recommended. To find out more about our executry services, contact our specialist lawyers today.
We can give you straightforward, expert advice on Executries & Probate.
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