When it comes to administering an estate, you will soon learn that it is not a job for faint-hearted people. You have got a legal responsibility as executor to administer the estate of a deceased following the will.
Furthermore, carrying out the duty of probate NSW entails not only ensuring that bills and creditors are paid promptly, filing, documentation, and also meeting deadlines, but also carefully navigating family concerns.
You might have to deal with irritated beneficiaries and people who want to protest the will. Worse, if you are accused of or found to have made executor errors, you may be sued and held personally accountable.
Even if there exists no will and you are selected as the administrator of an estate, you will be responsible for the same tasks and face the same risks. So, you need to be aware of the following common mistakes in such situations.
- Start administering the estate prematurely
When you begin making funeral arrangements, you begin playing a role. You can apply for permission of probate once the death certificate has been issued.
- Delaying the administration process
Although, the executor accepts the responsibility, but does nothing with it. In the end, the beneficiaries may petition you to be removed from your position.
- Not keeping detailed records
From gathering and recording the entire financial assets to the complete preparation of a business or property for sale, there is a lot to consider. You will be in charge of overseeing documents and filing various types of papers.
- Not identifying, locating, or securing assets and other personal belongings
One first thing you should do when you take on the duty of executor (or administrator) is secure the assets of deceased and personal possessions.
- Trying to administer without any lawyer to save money
If you hire any probate lawyer then you will avoid unpleasant surprises when the estate funds or assets have been allocated in this manner.
- Failing to manage expectations of the beneficiaries and communicate regularly
Never lose sight of the fact that you are protecting the interest of beneficiaries and working on their behalf. If there are any updates to report, keep in touch with them regularly.
- Being held ransom by all the beneficiaries
No Beneficiary has the authority to hold the executor of an estate for ransom and compel to make any decision in favour of the beneficiary, even if it is contrary to the executor’s or administrator’s duty to the estate.
- Not keeping estate and your personal funds separate
Even the most upright executor can make the mistake of ‘borrowing’ from available cash and later discover that they were not able to properly account for estate-related and non-estate-related expenditures.
- Distributing assets too early
An important part of estate administration is taking a proper accounting of all liabilities/debits of the estate.
- Not following the entire terms of the will
An executor’s principal task is to run the estate and distribute the entire proceeds as per the deceased’s will.
As the executor (or administrator) of an estate, you will be responsible for a variety of activities that will try your patience.