“Being an estate executor is a difficult, time-consuming job that is typically an unfamiliar one as well. It’s easy to get stressed and feel like you’ll never get it all done.”
Legacy.com’s recent article, “Seven tips for getting the job done as smoothly as possible,” provides some helpful ideas to consider when you are named the executor of an estate.
- Take adequate time to grieve. In many instances, you’ll be named as executor of the estate of a family member or close friend. It is important to remember that, although there will be things that need to be done immediately, you’ll have time to take a breath, mourn, and make it through the first few weeks after the death without worrying about all the executor tasks that lie ahead.
- Ask for help. Settling an estate can be confusing, with all of the complicated documents and the probate court process. You really shouldn’t tackle this process by yourself. It is helpful to work with an experienced attorney. Estate funds can be used to pay their fees, and remember that the executor manages the process and may call upon professionals to help.
- Keep everything organized. Make a list of things that need to be done, and once they’re finished, place your notes and documentation in a filing system. Get in the habit of making notes whenever you correspond with someone regarding the estate.
- Communicate with beneficiaries. These people have a vested interest in settling an estate. Communicate with them often and put them at ease about the progress.
- Take care of yourself. In addition to the stress of being executor, you may need to deal with the stress of the loss. Grief and sadness can remain for a long time. Be sure to not forget to take care of yourself.
- Everything doesn’t have to be done at once. It usually takes a year to settle an estate, so don’t put pressure on yourself to complete the project faster … even if you’re getting pressured by beneficiaries to hurry up and give them their share.
- Try to learn what you can before the person passes away. If you know you’re going to be named executor, talk to the person and learn some basics about their estate plan. Ask where they keep the will and for them to keep an updated list of financial assets, important account numbers, and passwords. See if they have funeral plans and whether they have worked with an estate attorney, financial planner, or other related professionals.
Reference: legacy.com (December 2, 2016) “Seven tips for getting the job done as smoothly as possible”