When your loved one passed, the loss likely made you sad but also grateful that he or she created an estate plan. Hopefully, you knew ahead of time that your family member chose you to act as the executor of the remaining estate, as having a will and other estate planning documents to work with could make your job a little bit easier.
Of course, even with instructions from the decedent to follow, you still have a lot to handle. Probate can be precarious for many reasons, including having to handle someone else’s affairs, contending with your own emotions and the emotions of other surviving family members, and having to follow Nevada laws for closing an estate properly.
Mistakes can happen
You undoubtedly want to put your best foot forward as you act as the executor. After all, you would never purposefully do anything to taint the memory of your loved one or put his or her remaining affairs in jeopardy. This is an important mindset to have because you have a fiduciary duty to the estate and its beneficiaries as the executor. This duty means that you need to be open, honest and objective when handling the estate’s affairs.
If, at any point, another beneficiary feels that you have done something untoward, you could face accusations that you need to dispute. If you have not kept thorough records of your actions as the executor, you may have a more difficult time proving that you have acted responsibly. Therefore, you want to avoid the mistake of not having copies of documents, not keeping records of financial transactions and not communicating clearly with beneficiaries.
In addition to having the responsibility of being open with beneficiaries, you need to protect and secure the remaining assets. Even if your loved one explicitly stated in his or her will that a specific person should receive a specific item, that person cannot obtain that item until the end of the probate process. If you do not secure the property until that time, serious problems could result.
It is easy for executors to feel overwhelmed while trying to settle a loved one’s estate. Fortunately, you do not have to try to do everything on your own. You can enlist the help of an experienced probate attorney who can guide you through the process and help you minimize the possibility of errors.