In the previous post, I Was Named Executor…Now What (Part 1), we discussed some of the specific duties that an executor must carry out. In this post, we’ll go over a few things to think about if you are chosen to serve as executor.
At NC Planning, we often caution individuals that have been named executors to evaluate the full picture of the estate. If you have already been assisting an individual with managing his debts, managing his estate may be a natural extension of those duties. However, for an unfamiliar party it may be a more complex undertaking. Proximity is also a necessary consideration. It is much easier and less expensive to administer an estate of an individual that lived close by, rather than across the country. One should also consider the personal dynamics involved. Will the beneficiaries be challenging your every action or will they trust you to do your job?
If an estate is insolvent and has more debts than it does assets, an executor may be held personally liable for paying for any services the executor contracted with in conjunction with the administration of the estate, such as attorney’s fees or CPA expenses. Also keep in mind, the debts of an estate will directly affect the assets of the estate. Assets will be liquidated if debts cannot be paid outright and as such the inheritance of beneficiaries and heirs will be diminished. Therefore, it is incredibly important for the executor to ensure late fees and delinquent payments do not eat away at the estate assets.