Learning that you've been named the executor of an estate is an overwhelming feeling. You might not know what to expect or you might feel like you aren't up for the task. Acting as an executor is a big deal, but with some additional knowledge, you might be able to put the idea in perspective and feel less stressed about the process.
Do the Right Thing
First and foremost, it's essential you do the right thing with the estate. In clear terms, only designate or expend assets for which you have authority to do so. As an executor, you are personally responsible for all assets of the deceased that you have control over.
If an asset that you have possession of goes missing or the balance on an account is less than it should be, the probate court will look to you first since you are the responsible party. If the deceased placed you in charge, it's because they had confidence and trust in you. Make sure you are careful to handle every affair correctly.
For a large estate, the dissolving of the deceased's' assets might take some time, even several years. This type of scenario is especially common when the deceased has left behind a trust fund for minor children. In this type of situation, it's essential you report any earnings paid to the estate after their death to the IRS. This process is completed in the form of a fiduciary tax return.
If this earnings statement is not filed, the estate could be hit with nonpayment penalties. The value of the estate will determine the exact filing necessary, but an attorney can help you sort through the matter.
Turn a Deaf Ear to Conflict
Don't let conflict among family and friends persuade you. Unfortunately, when it comes to wills and inheritances, it's often impossible to please everyone, so there is bound to be at least one person who is not happy.
Even if you are in agreement with the person who feels slighted, it's not your duty or legal right to try and rectify the situation. Remember, you must handle the estate in the exact manner outlined by the deceased and the court, so drown out this type of confusion.
Even with this knowledge, it's important to speak with an attorney if you have been named the executor of the estate. How the estate was structured and what assets you are responsible for will determine what your specific roles and responsibilities are. Speak with an attorney for a more accurate assessment of your duties.
For more help, contact a company like Wagner Law LLC.