If you have learned that you have been named an executor to a loved one’s estate, congratulations. Being an executor means that the person who wrote their will saw you as someone who is responsible enough to wind up their affairs and distribute their property accordingly. Indeed, being an executor is an honor of sorts, but it is not necessarily an easy job; especially with large estates that have a large number of beneficiaries.
A survey conducted by the New York Times revealed that the toughest parts of being an executor are the time commitment that comes with the job and not having access to proper records. Because of this, mistakes could be made in administering the estate. As such this post will highlight a few mistakes that executors should try to avoid.
Losing tangible assets – Part of an executor’s duty is to keep assets protected until they can be legally transferred from the deceased to the appropriate beneficiary or heir. This can apply to homes, cars and even artwork. So if an asset is damaged or destroyed before it can be transferred, the executor could be held liable.
Misappropriating the assets – Some executors may be tempted to invest some of the estate in order to increase what they might come away with after all the assets are distributed. However, if an investment goes south, the executor could be held liable.
Paying the wrong bills – The desire to pay outstanding bills, such as utility bills, credit cards, and outstanding mortgage payments may be strong, but making sure that any taxes and other priority payments are paid before other creditors is essential.