Having someone name you as the executor of their estate is an important responsibility. This can be a difficult time, however. If you are still mourning the loss of a loved one, you might not be in the right frame of mind. This could cause you to make mistakes you normally would not have made.
The process of settling an estate can be time-consuming and, if you do not have experience as an executor, there may be small details that you fail to pick up on. Doing your research can help minimize the chances of making a mistake.
Failing to be transparent
One of the most common mistakes estate executors can make is failing to be transparent. There is a lot of responsibility on your shoulders as the executor. Keeping track of all correspondence with the beneficiaries, maintaining records and documenting all important developments may support your claim that you are being transparent throughout the estate administration process.
Not closing the estate properly
Once you have distributed all of the assets in the estate, the next step would be to close the estate. This process is relatively simple, yet many executors miss this step. You may have to file a settlement in court that shows all beneficiaries received their inheritance and agree to close the estate.
Forgetting you might be liable
If a mistake is made and it was through the fault of your actions, you might be held liable for the damages. This risk alone shows the importance of getting help when you need it. If you find that you are in over your head, seeking the help of an attorney can make the process flow more smoothly.
There is a lot of risk involved with taking on this responsibility. It may be in your best interest to speak with an experienced estate law attorney because of the added risk. They can help you to understand the fine details and ensure no mistakes are made.