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Steps to take as an estate executor

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Managing an estate competently and keeping interested parties adequately informed can be complicated. Thus, if you are appointed an executor of an estate, you need to be prepared.

Here is how you can do this:

Before probate

Before you assume your duties, you need to do a few things to make your work more manageable when the time comes. 

Firstly, you should know where the testator (the person who writes the will)  keeps the will and other vital documents. The testator will typically inform you of the location, but if they don’t, remind them and confirm that you can access it.

Further, recognise the professionals the testator is working with, including their lawyer, accountant, insurance agent, tax professional and financial advisor, among others. They can provide relevant knowledge, helping you avoid costly mistakes.

You should also stay informed. Recognise the beneficiaries and interested parties and be informed of updates made to the estate plan.

Additionally, you should have the testator’s preferences about other matters, such as funeral arrangements, in writing. Essentially, write down any wish they inform you during meetings and have them sign the notes.

During probate

When probate time comes, you should take calculative steps to avoid complications. First, obtain as many death certificates as possible and get the will and other needed documents.

Then, inform the beneficiaries and interested parties once you submit the will to the probate court. You will keep these parties informed throughout the process. 

You should also have a close relationship with the professionals you connected with before probate when performing your duties.

How you handle your role as an executor before and during probate is crucial. Consider legal guidance in both stages to make your work easier.