Some Steps That Can Help Protect You As The Executor Of A Loved One’s Estate
Being chosen to serve as the executor of an estate can feel like an honor. On top of feeling honored, if you just found out you’re named as the executor of a loved one’s Will, you might be feeling obligated to accept the job. However, before you accept to serve as the executor of your deceased loved one’s estate, you need to know that there may be risks involved in being the executor of an estate. That said, you should not be too quick to hand over the job to someone else. There is a reason your loved one trusted you to be their executor. Your loved one likely chose you because they knew that you possess the capabilities to be an excellent executor. Indeed, there are some risks that come with being an executor, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself as the executor of your loved one’s estate.
If you decide to take on the role of executor, below are some steps you can take to protect yourself. If you follow these steps, focus, and carefully plan, you can be a successful executor.
Follow the Wishes of the Decedent
The first crucial thing you should do as the executor of your deceased loved one’s estate is to ensure you follow the wishes written in the “Will”. If you do not understand something or find something confusing, ask for clarification before taking any action. As the person in charge of administering your deceased loved one’s estate, you have a duty to do so in line with the terms of the Will and the law. If you fail to follow the decedent’s Will, you may be held personally responsible for any breaches. You can find yourself being held responsible even if you committed a genuine mistake. So, ensure you seek clarification if you don’t understand something or find something confusing.
Secure Property as Soon as Possible
You should secure your loved one’s assets as soon as possible after being officially appointed as the personal representative. Once you secure the assets, ensure that you thoroughly inventory them. This way, you can prevent friends and family members from taking some assets before you begin administering the estate. Securing and inventorying property without delay can help you avoid being accused of taking property and protect property for the beneficiaries. Remember, executors have the duty to keep property safe and secure until it is distributed to beneficiaries.
Keep a Record of Everything You Do
Lastly, once you start serving as the executor of your loved one’s estate, it is important that you ensure that you keep a record of everything you do. For example, whenever you handle any financial responsibilities for the estate, keep a record of what you did and when. Documentation can help you avoid being accused of, among other things, negligence. Also, if you are accused of something, documentation can help you prove that you appropriately did your job.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Probate Attorney
If you just found out you are named as the executor in a loved one’s Will, reach out to our Fort Lauderdale probate attorneys for legal guidance.