The priority of an estate plan is to ensure you express your wishes in the event of incapacity or death. However, another element to consider is how your loved ones will fare through these complicated situations.
This can involve thinking carefully about who you appoint as an estate administrator, as they may need to navigate some thorny scenarios.
Contentious familial battles
People often feel grief, sadness, or anger after a person passes away, clouding their judgment and triggering conflicts. Old feelings of resentment or jealously can also bubble to the surface, creating tension and doubt over decisions related to an estate.
Thus, whether an estate administrator is a member of your family or not, they may well wind up in the middle of a family dispute.
Therefore, someone in this role should be diplomatic, respectful, and committed to acting in a decedent’s best interests.
Complex financial and legal matters
It does not take much for administering an estate to become overwhelming.
In the legal context, estates may go through lengthy probate proceedings; there can be complicated legal motions to respond to; court appearances may be necessary.
Financial matters can be highly complex if someone leaves behind a sizable estate or makes missteps, like not appropriately setting up trusts. Further, an administrator may need to work with tax agencies, creditors and others who stand to gain or lose financially through the administration of a person’s estate.
These duties can be easier to carry out if someone has experience handling legal or financial matters.
Even though an administrator may be doing exactly what a decedent has requested, they are ultimately the ones who must navigate the fallout when they carry out their administrative duties in a way with which others disagree.
For instance, families may be unhappy with how an administrator distributes property. Others may take issue with investments or payments an administrator makes on the decedent’s behalf.
A personal representative may be in a position to make unpopular decisions, so having the confidence and capability to do so can make this aspect easier.
Legal guidance can help overcome these challenges
If you are drafting an estate plan or administrating one, anticipating these and other complicated situations can be crucial. To prepare, you can discuss your case and questions with an attorney at the Quinn Law Firm by calling 814-833-2222.