5 Tips for if You’ve Been Designated the Executor of an Estate

Losing a loved one is never easy, but it can be even more challenging when you have also been named as the executor of their estate. It is difficult, but you often need to put your emotions aside to be able to make good decisions regarding your loved one’s legacy. You can use the below tips to make this process run a bit smoother.

  1.   Get several copies of the death certificate.

As an executor, you will need to talk to several parties about the death of your loved one. Many banks, governmental entities, and others will need a copy of the death certificate before they can process your requests. Get more copies of the death certificate than you think you will need so you do not run out. You should also ask parties who request the certificate whether a copy of the document will work for their needs.

  1.   Locate the will and accompanying documents.

If someone else told you that you are the executor, you might need to find the will so that you can examine it for yourself. In some situations, you know that you are the executor because you have already seen the will. This is particularly true if you are the spouse of the deceased.

You may need to file the will with the probate court within just a few days of your loved one’s death, so it is important to locate this document and perform the required next steps.

  1.   Understand your role as an executor.

Many people who are named as executors have no know idea what they do. Do some initial research about what your role is and what your duties are as part of that role. You can read our past blog to get the process started: “Understanding the Role of an Executor.”

  1.   Decide whether you need to open probate.

In some circumstances, you may not need to probate a will to fulfill your duties. If the estate is small enough, you can also go through a simplified probate process as well. Generally, if the estate is worth less than $75,000 or the decedent passed away more than two years ago, you can use a simplified probate process. This process is often faster and less expensive, so it is worth using if your loved one’s estate will qualify.

  1.   Call in a professional.

It is a good idea to use all of your resources—including a probate attorney. He or she will be able to walk you through the steps that you need to take to fulfill your role. At Legacy Planning Law Group, we can also help you complete an inventory, get items sold, and even deal with many estate administration disputes. Learn more by visiting our Probate Administration page or give us a call for more information.

Written by Legacy Planning Law Group

Legacy Planning Law Group is dedicated to working with individuals and families to help protect the assets they have built throughout their life, and make everything simpler for families who have lost a loved one. We help thoughtful people achieve the peace of mind that comes with planning their personal legacy and passing on family harmony.

Written by Legacy Planning Law Group

Legacy Planning Law Group is dedicated to working with individuals and families to help protect the assets they have built throughout their life, and make everything simpler for families who have lost a loved one. We help thoughtful people achieve the peace of mind that comes with planning their personal legacy and passing on family harmony.