As an executor of a decedent’s estate, you have professional duties under the law that you must uphold to avoid legal issues.
Forbes explains that many people do not understand the duties of an executor, which can lead to mistakes. You have personal liability for the actions you take as an executor, and if something goes wrong, you may have to pay damages.
Showing favoritism or bias
You may personally know the beneficiaries of the estate you manage, but that should not affect the way you conduct yourself. The best approach is to look at estate management as a business deal. Treat everyone equally and uphold your duties and responsibilities.
You not only serve the estate but also the beneficiaries. If they ask questions or want clarification on details, then you must assist them. You should never push them aside or fail to explain what is happening with the process.
Not moving things forward
Your main duty is to close the estate by handling all the outstanding duties, such as collecting assets, paying bills, paying inheritance and income taxes and, lastly, dispersing inheritances to the beneficiaries. If you do nothing or wait for someone to tell you to do something, then you will hold up the process. Make sure that you understand what you should do after the death of the person to keep the process moving along at an appropriate rate.
Not getting help when you need it
There are no rules that say you have to figure everything out on your own. You can and should hire professionals to assist you with the administration and management process. When doing so, make sure you choose individuals who have experience in estate matters.