We have created a list of tips for state executors. Being the executor of a will is not something we all would wish to be. It is a great honor, but with it comes great responsibility. As an estate executor, you are charged with managing the assets and acting in the best interest of the beneficiaries, regardless of whether you receive any kind of return from doing so. It can be a long process, but it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems.
Here are 5 tips for state executors to help in the new role:
- The will is the key. As an executor or trustee, it is your responsibility to uphold the integrity of the will and its instructions. Read the will thoroughly to ensure you understand it completely. If necessary, have an attorney help you. This will help mitigate any problems with impatient or suspicious beneficiaries.
- Be proactive. If you are in charge of managing the property and assets, the heirs and creditors should be informed of the death as soon as possible. Collect the keys for any vehicles and change the locks on the house. Create a financial plan for the trust assets (with the help of an advisor if needed.) Large sums of money and assets will not best serve the beneficiaries by remaining in a savings account or otherwise underutilized.
- Do not by any means have any personal financial dealings with the trust. Even if you are in charge of managing the money and estate assets, you should never borrow or lend from the trust.
- Communication and transparency is paramount. The probate process can take some time and beneficiaries may want to collect their distributions immediately. Inform them of the process and keep a detailed record of any actions or transactions regarding the will. It would also be good to send regular reports to the beneficiaries to keep them in the loop.
- Don’t be afraid to seek guidance or help. You may have been selected as the trustee for a number of reasons, but this does not mean you have to take it all on alone. There is a great deal of responsibility in managing assets as an estate executor. If you should ever feel unsure of what actions to take, whether it is in the beginning, middle, or end, consult an attorney or advisor. It will help smooth out the process and ensure that you are also protected while trying to do the best job you can.