Serving as someone’s estate executor can be a burden and at the same time an honor. Being entrusted with the responsibility of handling a deceased’s wealth distribution among other affairs means the person trusted you. Executing your fiduciary mandate, therefore, requires the highest levels of diligence, impartiality, honesty, good faith, and firmness.
Below are Seven tips to help you get through it effectively.
Obtain the death certificate, file documents and make funeral arrangements for the deceased.
Executing your fiduciary mandate, therefore, requires the highest levels of diligence, impartiality, honesty, good faith, and firmness. Obtaining the deceased’s death certificate, filing documents and making funeral arrangements are some of the first requirements that need your attention, time and resources. Time is crutical for sending copies of the death certificate to the Social Security Administration, investment firms, banks and life insurers. File the deceased’s tax returns and give him/her a decent send-off before thinking of your next responsibility.
Locate the deceased’s will immediately.
As an executor, you need the deceased’s will to execute his/her wishes efficiently. You probably have a clue on where to find the will of the deceased if he/she was well-organized. Consider involving the family lawyer or attorney for convenience. Take a copy of the will to probate court if necessary. You’ll not be able to carry out your duties without this legal document.
Consult other relevant professionals.
Just because the deceased trusted you with his affairs don’t mean you should go about it all alone. Working with other relevant professionals such as estate attorneys, tax advisors, or accountants can make things much easier for you. You need legal, tax and financial expertise if you are to avoid costly mistakes.
Clear taxes, bills or debts
The deceased probably had some pending debts, bills or taxes that are worth resolving. Being the executor, it’s your job to find out whether there’s enough to sort the estate’s, debts, bills, and taxes. Accomplishing this objective shouldn’t be complicated especially if the deceased kept well-detailed weekly, monthly or annual records of their income, bills, and debts.
Find, gather and protect the deceased’s assets.
Put together a list of assets including; automobiles, real estates, bank accounts, securities, investments accounts, insurance, artwork, or antiques among other collectibles and prepare them for distribution according to the deceased’s official will.
Set up an estate bank account.
Consider playing your executor role diligently by setting up a bank account for the estate. The aim of this account is to hold all the money the deceased is owed including stock dividends and paychecks to name but a few.
Distribute the wealth as per the deceased’s will
Last but not least, you should take your time supervising the distribution of the deceased assets to the right beneficiaries as per the persons will. You must give each person the specific % or item as indicated in the will without compromise. After you’re done, go to the courts and request the judge to discharge your role as the executor after closing the estate.
Being aware of what’s expected of you makes your job as an estate executor easier to tackle when that time comes. Embrace the above tips to execute your obligations honorably.