The executor of an estate takes on a lot of responsibility. This position requires good financial sense and an understanding of basic estate law. Due to the high level of duty that executors have, it is not uncommon for them to make mistakes.
MarketWatch explains that the job of an estate executor is often thankless and full of people becoming upset with you, especially if the deceased left some surprises in his or her will. However, an executor must maintain focus and not let heirs get him or her off track. Furthermore, there is a lot of paperwork with this position. That can open an executor up to the potential for mistakes. Here is a look at some common errors that executors make:
Mismanagement of money
While an executor oversees managing the funds of an estate, he or she should do so carefully. This means not spending money without a valid and legal reason. It also means not trying to grow the estate through risky investments.
Missteps with real estate
If there is property as part of the estate, it can be tricky to manage. The executor will often have to sell real estate. This means setting the price and managing the process. In addition, an executor may need to make repairs to the property before selling, which takes money from the estate.
Because the executor has complete control over the estate’s finances, he or she may think that it is fine to pay bills as they come due. However, this is not the right approach. The law is clear on the priority of debts. An executor should wait for the probate court to make decisions about which bills to pay first.
It is not easy to be an executor of an estate; there are a lot of rules governing the process. It is easy to make a mistake every now and then. However, the main goal is to be honest in all dealings, and, hopefully, mistakes will not turn out so badly.