Perhaps you've just been asked by a family member or close friend to be the executor of that individual's estate. Many people feel flattered by such a request and quickly agree to assume the responsibilities.
The key word in that above sentence is "responsibilities," given that duties link closely to an executor's role.
Candidly, they often pose more of a challenge than what is initially envisioned. Many executors mistakenly believe that administering an estate is customarily a quick and easy exercise.
Although it sometimes is, it just as often isn't. Indeed, executorship can turn out to be a daunting and stressful endeavor. We duly note that at the long-tenured Bucks County estate planning law firm of William J. Benz. We stress on our website that, "Being named an executor is an honor, but it also comes with legal duties that must be taken seriously."
Here's why: Mismanagement of estate assets can yield personal liability. That often unstated caveat is something that many friends and loved ones flatly don't know when they sign off on becoming executors.
It is understandably a good idea for any prospective executor to become reasonably acquainted with his or her upcoming duties before agreeing to anything. Proven legal counsel can offer candid counsel and help guide the process in matters like the following and more:
- Identifying, valuing and managing estate property
- Probating a will
- Contacting and interacting with heirs and beneficiaries
- Notifying and settling with creditors
- Paying estate taxes and bills
- Distributing property
- Dealing with miscellaneous final affairs
Collectively, such matters can entail considerable complexity and require much effort to resolve. An experienced estate planning attorney can be a key ally helping to ensure that an executor satisfactorily carries out all mandated tasks.