Administering someone’s estate is a major responsibility. A person in this role will have several duties, from collecting assets and notifying heirs to paying taxes and selling property.
Considering how much a person must do in this position, it is not unusual to run into complications.
Potential obstacles for estate executors
Administering an estate after a person’s death depends on the jurisdiction, size of the estate and whether the person left a will. Thus, an executor’s specific duties can vary based on these factors.
However, in general, an executor carries out a decedent’s wishes and resolves financial matters. In this capacity, they can face the following obstacles, whatever the administration process might entail.
- Challenges from beneficiaries: Beneficiaries can be unhappy with an executor’s decisions or disagree with the compensation he or she may be receiving. Often, these challenges erupt when there are already difficult relationships among family members, creating distrust or conflict.
- Complicated processes: The legal process is complex, especially for someone who does not have a legal background or experience in estate-related matters. As a result, executors often face confusing processes, and some can become overwhelmed.
- Messy financial matters: Some estates are straightforward in terms of valuation and distribution. However, it does not take much to create problems managing finances. An executor may be dealing with business valuations, sizable debts and property ownership and transfer issues. Both complex estates and those poorly managed by the decedent can make the administration process especially difficult for the executor.
- Missing deadlines and misplacing paperwork: Executing an estate is rarely the only obligation a person has. Often, they have their own jobs, families to care for and personal matters that prevent them from devoting their full attention to their executor duties. Because of this, executors can wind up missing deadlines or losing paperwork.
These complications can be frustrating and upsetting.
Overcoming these obstacles
There are several ways to overcome these obstacles during the administration process. One way is to be sure you understand the role before accepting it.
Another option is to consult an attorney who has the administration experience you may lack. You can discuss the specific ways an attorney can help by calling the Quinn Law Firm at 814-833-2222.