Did you know that up to 67% of Americans have not planned for after they die? This means that less than half the population has an estate plan of any kind.
If you agreed to be the executor or administrator of an estate, you may think this process is relatively straightforward, especially if the estate has a high-quality and legally binding plan. However, there are a few problems you may encounter as you administer the estate.
The contact information of some of the beneficiaries may have changed since the creation of the estate plan. In addition, those who live out of state may need to verify their connection with the deceased. In addition, you may not know some of these individuals at all, so contact is challenging.
Most estate plans also address who will care for minor children. However, once the parent passes, you, as the administrator, may encounter challenges to who retains guardianship. The court may ultimately decide this issue.
Before you distribute the estate, you typically have to pay all the outstanding debts using estate assets. This may require research to locate all the deceased’s creditors. These companies can also make claims against the estate, so you may need to conduct more thorough research on the matter.
Some beneficiaries may think you received too much pay for your duties as the estate’s administrator. The deceased should have stated your fees in the estate itself, but if not, you may have to fight for your administration fees.
Before agreeing to administer an estate, make yourself aware of all the disputes you could face, including dependents feeling as if they have not received adequate provision, individuals refusing to return assets and challenges to asset sales.