Being named the executor of a will means a loved one deemed you trustworthy enough to handle his or her final affairs. It is an honor to be trusted so completely by your loved one. However, you also have a responsibility to uphold.
You want to ensure you perform your role correctly. Here are four mistakes you should avoid in your role as executor.
Do not hire a business law attorney
You may have an attorney you use for your business. Your attorney may be a whiz at solving your contract disputes, but that does not mean he or she knows anything about the probate process. When you are executing a will, you should contact an attorney that specializes in probate law. The estate pays for the attorney fees, so hiring an attorney is not a financial burden to you.
Do not ignore your duties
It is important you move forward as quickly as possible. The beneficiaries are relying on you to contact them and divide the assets. Without your action, the probate process cannot move forward, and you cannot distribute your loved one’s assets as he or she stipulated.
Do not forgot to secure all assets
You must make sure all your loved one’s assets are secure after his or her passing. If your loved one had pets, your priority should be finding the pets a safe place to stay and ensuring their needs are met. With real estate, you will likely want to change the locks and notify the insurance company. For bank accounts, you must let the bank know about the death and freeze your loved one’s accounts. You do not want any interested parties attempting to access these properties or accounts and taking what is not rightfully theirs.
Do not forget you are personally liable
According to Forbes, as executor, you are personally liable for any mistakes or transgressions you make when administering the estate. If you cost the estate money, your personal finances could be used to correct these mistakes.
Being an executor can be complicated. That is why securing the services of an attorney who is experienced in Texas probate law is so important.