Handling your parents’ estate
It can be difficult to handle the death of a loved one, but when you are left to deal with their estate, things can get even more complicated.
If you have been named executor in your parents’ will, it is important to know the next steps.
The responsibilities of an executor
An executor is a person who is responsible for carrying out the provisions of a will. They need to be organized and efficient to navigate these challenges successfully. They also need to be able to take a step back from the emotional aspects of the situation and make clearheaded decisions in the estate’s best interests. Some of the most common duties of an executor include:
- Managing the decedent’s property and assets
- Identifying and notifying all potential heirs
- Collecting and managing estate funds
- Filing estate taxes
- Resolving debts and claims against the estate
- After paying the creditors, the remaining assets can be distributed among the beneficiaries.
Executors are responsible for acting in the best interests of the beneficiaries, which can sometimes be a tricky balancing act. For example, they may need to sell property to pay debts, which could cause conflict if the beneficiaries have sentimental attachments to the property. Executors also need to be prepared for challenges from disgruntled heirs who may contest the will or claim that they are entitled to more of the estate than they are getting.
Distributing an estate’s assets can be complicated, and it is crucial to seek professional help to ensure the process is carried out correctly. This will reduce the change of disputes among the beneficiaries later on.