A History Of Growing Trust In Kentucky

Common mistakes executors make and how to avoid them

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Probate & Estate Administration

Executors face a significant number of responsibilities that require attention to detail and adherence to the law. Because this process is complicated, executors often make mistakes that can result in delays and unnecessary complications. Understanding common pitfalls and how to avoid them is critical for a smooth estate administration.

Failing to properly inventory assets

One of the first tasks an executor must complete is inventorying the deceased’s assets. At times, though, executors may overlook assets, such as failing to include digital accounts or personal property. In addition, executors may also fail to get accurate appraisals for valuable items like real estate or collections.

To avoid this mistake, executors should conduct thorough searches for all assets and hire professional appraisers for accurate valuations.

Missing deadlines

Probate involves several deadlines, including filing documents, notifying beneficiaries, and paying taxes. Missing one or more deadlines can lead to penalties and delays.

Executors should create detailed timelines for all required actions. They should also set reminders and perform regular progress checks.

Mismanaging estate finances

Executors need to manage the estate’s finances, which include paying debts and taxes, maintaining property, and distributing assets. At times, executors make the mistake of commingling personal and estate funds, as well as failing to keep detailed records.

To help mitigate this problem, it’s wise to open a separate bank account for the estate and keep meticulous records of all financial activities.

Being an executor requires care and a clear understanding of your responsibilities. By avoiding common mistakes, executors can ensure a smooth probate process. Proper preparation and attention to detail are key to successful estate administration.