Don’t make these executor mistakes

| Jun 9, 2021 | Probate

The Nevada probate process can be complex and stressful. If you’re named as an executor, you must fulfill numerous responsibilities. Accepting this position means that you will play a key role in identifying the decedent’s assets and beneficiaries, as well as other actions you must take in order to close the estate.  

Avoid errors that can cause legal complications 

When the estate owner in question asked you to be an executor, you hopefully had time to discuss the matter, including gaining clarification of all duties and responsibilities inherent to the position. While it is often considered an honor to be asked to carry out this solemn duty, the following list shows mistakes executors often make that can cause problems: 

  • Failing to connect with beneficiaries and keep them updated 
  • Seeking support from someone who is not well-versed in probate issues 
  • Failing to move forward to close the estate 
  • Showing favoritism to one beneficiary over another 

When you agree to be an executor, you’re expected to carry out your duties in a timely manner. You also must keep beneficiaries informed regarding the status of the estate. Beneficiaries have a right to expect fair and unbiased treatment during the probate process.  

What to do if legal complications arise 

To avoid breaching your fiduciary obligation, it is critical that you clearly understand your duties if someone has named you executor in his or her will. It is not uncommon for legal obstacles to occur during the probate process. 

This is one of several reasons it pays to have a strong support network in place from the start, including someone who knows his or her way around a probate court and can recommend a best course of action in a particular set of circumstances, especially if there is a dispute.  

Do not accept the position if you don’t feel equipped to handle the job 

Executor duties can be stressful, which is why you shouldn’t agree to be an executor if you’re not prepared and willing to see the entire process through from start to finish. In addition to identifying assets and notifying beneficiaries, you may also need to file income or estate tax returns. 

It is important to keep in mind that being an executor means that you might be at risk for personal liability if something goes wrong with the estate. If you make a mistake that causes damages, the court can order you to pay restitution. If you wish to accept an executor appointment, just be sure you clearly understand everything expected of you.