Executors must avoid these errors

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2016 | Probate And Estate Administration

Nevada residents who have been named as an executor under a person’s will may wonder what kind of responsibilities and pitfalls may arise. One common mistake is failing to approach paying the estate’s debts in an organized manner. An executor might begin paying debts as soon as they come in, but credit card bills and the like should be set aside as low-priority. Other bills, such as tax liabilities and funeral expenses, must take precedence, and an executor may be personally liable if the priority bills are unpaid.

Trying to increase an estate’s value by playing the stock market is also a potential error. A poor investment that leaves an asset like a trust underfunded may result in a lawsuit against the executor. An executor may also run into problems while handling real estate. The help of a probate court may be necessary to decide what will happen to the house. An executor is responsible for maintenance and insurance payments.

Assets such as art and other collectibles must be secured. Executors should also resist pressure to make distributions quickly.

As these points demonstrate, it is important for testators to consider whether the person they are considering appointing as executor under their will is capable or performing these tasks. People who are asked to serve as an executor should also consider these points. This does not mean that the executor is supposed to be a financial expert, but an executor may want to consult an attorney and other professionals in order to get advice on how to administer the estate legally and in the best way.