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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Common Mistakes Made By Executors

Being listed as someone’s executor can be an honor at first, but it is important to realize that it is a big responsibility. Dealing with the legal responsibilities of the financial and estates aspects of a will can be very stressful. Here are some of the most common mistakes that executors make.

 

  • Not being fully aware of what you are getting yourself involved with. Starting the role of being an executor without knowing what it is and what the job entails is a huge mistake. You need to make sure you understand your tasks and expectations because there is a legal responsibility that comes with the job. An executor is in charge of dealing with the will and carrying out all of the things that are said in someone’s will. Just because you are named an executor doesn’t mean that you need to accept the position. Make sure that if you accept the nomination of becoming an executor you are committed to it and you are aware of everything that it involves.

     

  • Not asking for help. The best thing you could do as an executor is to ask for help from a professional. Professionals are there to help you with any legal aspects of the estate. Some people don’t like to ask for help because they do not want to pay the attorney, but the attorney is being paid with the money in the estate so it isn’t coming directly from the executor’s pocket.

     

  • Being disorganized. Becoming an executor comes with many tasks. It is crucial to keep a task list and to stay organized throughout the entire process. This way you can keep track of what has to be done and what still needs to be completed. Keeping all your information and paperwork organized will help you not feel overwhelmed.

     

  • Rushing through the process. The administration of an estate process is lengthy and can take between nine to twelve months. Do not try to fit all of the work into a small amount of time because it can lead to mistakes and even legal liability. Moving quickly can also interfere with your personal free time.

     

  • Not keeping in regular contact with beneficiaries. You need to make sure that you are keeping in touch with your beneficiaries to see if anything has changed or if anything has advanced. Communicating with the beneficiaries regularly will also inform you about what tasks are involved and what their expectations are.

     

  • Not following the Court’s Instructions. The rules and regulations that come with the final administration of a decedent’s estate are very specific. You need to make sure that as an executor, you are doing everything in agreement with the law. The best way to ensure that you are following the law is to have an attorney that will help you and overlook everything. 

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