Last Will and Testament
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The role of the executor of an estate is one of complete trust and supreme responsibility.  Whomever you choose to serve in this capacity will oversee your final wishes to ensure that your Last Will and Testament are carried out as you have set forth. In theory, the person who is the executor of your estate will not have any problems with your beneficiaries. However, unfortunately, there are times when an issue or issues may arise which cause friction between the executor and a beneficiary of the estate.

Here are some of the most frequent issues that can arise:

Conflict of Interest

Often an individual will appoint a person to execute his or her will and that individual is also a beneficiary.  Typically, that is not an issue and the other heirs will understand that being named in a will does not automatically mean that you will not be a fair executor. However, beneficiaries often take issue with an executor based upon the executor fees. There are also times when an executor has abused that position of trust, if they believe that your executor is focusing on his or her own best interest at the expense of their interests and those of the estate.  Lack of trust may lead to claims of a conflict of interest, in an effort to disqualify your executor from continuing to operate in that capacity.

Mismanaging Funds of Estate

The assets of an estate must be managed properly during the probate process. The executor must act in a fiduciary capacity. Securing all assets is one of the most important roles of the position and is vital if the estate has many assets or outstanding debts.  Transactions must be recorded throughout the process of paying debts, filing tax returns, and distributing bequests using the funds or property available.  Sometimes, heirs will believe that the executor is not properly managing the assets of the estate and may file a complaint out of concern for the security of what they expect to inherit.  While an executor is compensated for his or her time, the amount of compensation may seem nominal in comparison to the value of the estate, leading to unease from heirs who believe the executor will find other ways to be compensated.

Lack of Communication

One of the most time-consuming aspects of serving as an executor is communicating with everyone associated with the estate.  Contacting creditors, keeping the courts informed, and talking to the beneficiaries is not always easy.  Unfortunately, some beneficiaries may not be satisfied with the level of communication they are receiving from an executor.  If they believe that they have not been contacted on a regular basis regarding the status of the estate, then they may initiate a complaint or attempt to get your executor removed. Creating your Will and choosing an executor is just one of the many things that you must do in order to ensure your estate is properly and smoothly administered.  The attorneys at the Law Offices of Fiore & Barber, LLC have over 50 years of combined experience to guide you through the entire process, and help you decide who is best suited to manage your estate.  Schedule your free consultation today!