Executor worries don’t have to keep you up at night. Read this so you can avoid the potential for trouble. Don’t worry. Be happy.
You don’t want to find yourself trapped in a nasty family battle or courtroom saga. Estate problems can drive you crazy for years. Be prepared to decline to act as executor to avoid these 10 executor worries.
I’ll explain why estate executors should not get involved with these problems. Avoid them so you won’t have to medicate yourself.
Executor Problems to Avoid
You can be personally on the hook for failing to properly deal with these types of situations. In most cases, you’ll need expert and experienced estate advice. Don’t start handling any of these estate situations without knowing the risks and complications:
1. The estate is broke
Do the math. Check if the bills you must pay exceed the estate’s assets. If that is the case, consider whether you should walk away. Leave the headache for another executor.
2. Failing to fulfill real estate responsibilities
Selling real estate means you take on responsibilities. Fires, floods and falling prices are some things that can devastate property values. Selling real estate can consume a great deal of your time and carries risks.
3. Taking risks with complex investments and commercial properties
Does the estate include unusual investments or commercial real estate? A bigger portfolio means a larger risk and greater caution.
4. Wasting time with foreign assets
Estate rules in another legal jurisdiction can be strange and frustrating. Winding up a foreign estate can often be slow. Can you fritter away time trying to sell Florida estate property?
5. Business battles and buy/sell agreement deadlines
Does the estate include an active business with partners or a corporation with shareholders? If you must deal with buy/sell agreements, these can add new layers of stress and liability. Deadlines in the agreement may force you to rely on additional experts and to make timely decisions.
6. Your age and health considerations
Does your age or health prevent you from completing your tasks over the next 12 to 18 months? Don’t start a job if you think you can’t finish.
7. Not protecting yourself from difficult beneficiaries
Are there signs that the beneficiaries are going to stalk you? Will they challenge everything you do? How do you protect yourself from beneficiaries who bombard you with emails and phone calls? They will want you to report on what you do daily.
8. Contested wills
You may think you have a duty to probate the will, but someone can still contest it. If there is a fight, will you be able to pay your lawyer?
9. Too much to handle
Is the estate too large or too much for you to handle? Check if the will lets you hire professionals to help you with your duties.
10. Long term trusts
Does the will require you to manage a trust on a long-term basis until the twins graduate? These are factors you must consider before saying “yes.”
If you have an urgent legal matter, please seek advice from an experienced estate lawyer. If you need more information on executor work, try reading Executor Kung Fu.
Read a sample chapter.
What others have said about the book:
“Easy to read and use.”
– Milton Zwicker, Lawyer and Author
About Edward Olkovich
Edward Olkovich (BA, LLB, TEP, C.S.) is a nationally recognized author and estate expert. He is a Toronto estate lawyer and Certified Specialist in Estates and Trusts. Edward has practiced law since 1978 and is the author of Executor Kung Fu. Visit his website, mrwills.com, for more free valuable information.
© Edward Olkovich 2013