Are You Ready to be an Executor?

Are you an executor for a relative or spouse? Then your first step must be to locate the original will. The will is important because your legal authority comes from this document. I’ll give you more tips to avoid common executor mistakes. Read them to save time and money.

I have advised executors for over thirty years, and I know the mistakes executors make when handling an estate. An executor’s job can be overwhelming. Get legal advice early to avoid costly mistakes like Frank.

Frank was the executor of his uncle’s small estate. He paid the beneficiaries what he roughly calculated they should receive. But he did not hold back enough to pay all the estate debts. Now Frank was in trouble. What should you or any executor have done to prevent this pain?

 You need some Executor Kung Fu to help.

Getting proper legal advice is important. You can also educate yourself about your legal duties. I have written the world’s first self defense book for executors to help you.

Like kung fu masters, executors use skills requiring knowledge, discipline and compassion.

Unlike kung fu masters, executors do not have years to develop these skills.

As an executor, you must quickly take charge of an estate. You need to understand the three easy steps for estate mastery: protect, probate and pay. These steps will guide your actions like magic, helping you perform all your executor tasks on time.

 Ten Things Executors Must Never Do

Executors must not …

1. Do anything on behalf of the estate (distribute estate property, pay debts, or sign any documents) before talking to a lawyer.

2. Buy and sell assets or estate property without probate, even if the price is fair.

3. Borrow estate funds or loan money to the estate, regardless of how much the security or interest rate may be.

4. Mix their money and estate money. They must keep separate accounts for estate money.

5. Fail to exercise reasonable care and skill to protect estate property.

6. Forget to take control or possession of estate property.

7. Knowingly permit a co-executor to breach duties.

8. Forget to keep estate assets productive (invest funds, collect rent).

9. Try to hand over their responsibility to someone else.

10. Quit in the middle of administering the estate without court approval.

 Your Executor Duties Make You Responsible for Mistakes — with Serious Consequences

You should read Executor Kung Fu: Master Any Estate in Three Easy Steps. In this complete, step-by-step guide, you will learn how to:

  •  reduce the stress of being an executor
  •   take inventory of the estate and distribute assets
  •   use your powers wisely as executor
  •   organize yourself to save time and money
  •   deal with professional advisors

Complete with sample forms, case studies, checklists, executor tools, and summaries to keep you out of trouble.

“Easy to read and use”

–Milton Zwicker, Lawyer and Author

“Every executor should read this”

–Brad Huxtable, Lawyer, Sheldon Huxtable Professional Corporation

Get started with a FREE chapter of Executor Kung Fu: Master Any Estate In Three Easy Steps.

 © Edward Olkovich 2012

Edward Olkovich (BA, LLB, TEP, C.S.) is a nationally recognized estate expert. He is a Toronto estate lawyer and certified estate and trust specialist. Edward has practiced law since 1978 and is the author of seven books. Visit his website,, for more free valuable estate information.