In preparation for your taking on the role of executor, you may have discussed your responsibilities with your family member who was the policyholder for the estate plan you are overseeing. However, with such a broad scope of responsibilities, you may be wondering what important information would be most helpful in providing you with insight into how to do your job effectively.
In general terms, your agreeing to execute your family member’s estate essentially means you are assuming full control of seeing that his or her assets, provisions and finances are distributed according to the final wishes that were provided to you. Within that description, there are several details that must be attended to including closing out financial accounts, paying off unpaid debts and taxes, gathering a death certificate and making arrangements for the sale of any property if applicable.
According to U.S. News, one of your top priorities should be to communicate regularly with the people listed as beneficiaries on the estate plan. Keep them informed of where you are at with distributing their portion of the estate and whether or not you have any responsibilities that would require their action before you can move forward with allotting their benefits.
It is important to remember that your position as an executor means you are a fiduciary as well. This means you will be held responsible if you are dishonest or neglect to be organized and legal in the way you facilitate the plan. As such, be sure you ask questions along the way and spend enough time understanding your role and purpose. The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.