Common Mistakes Executing Wills

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After funerals at funeral homes in Dayton, OH, you may be the executor of the estate of a loved one. While part of this includes executing your loved one’s will, it also means wrapping up all the affairs of your loved one who has died.

Some of the responsibilities you will have is working with creditors and make sure that debts and bills are paid off, gathering and accounting for all the assets in the estate, filing and paying income taxes and estate taxes, and distributing the assets of the estate in accordance with the deceased loved one’s instructions and within the legal boundaries of the state in which they died.

As an executor, you have a lot of responsibility to the beneficiaries of the estate. If the assets in the estate are not handled in a proper or legal manner, you will be legal liable for any issues or errors.

There are some very common mistakes that executors make, and there are some simple ways to avoid making them.

One common mistake that executors make is not understanding their fiduciary responsibilities. An executor of an estate is also a fiduciary, which means you are responsible for managing money on the estate’s behalf. If you are also an heir or a beneficiary of the estate, then it’s doubly-critical that you manage the money of the estate wisely and legally, so that that no disputes arise as a result of your actions (or inactions).

It’s important, even if you’re following the will to the exact letter of how your deceased loved one spelled everything out, that you have proof that every action you take is in the best interest of all the beneficiaries of the estate. You should keep meticulous records, including paper copies of every transaction you make on behalf of the estate.

Be sure to keep all the beneficiaries in the loop on a regular basis. This means that everything that’s related to the estate and to probate should be documented and all beneficiaries should receive that documentation.

Another common mistake that executors make is not handling real estate properly. Executors are often immediate relatives of the person who died, so they are in the midst of grief while they are executing the estate. People who are looking to flip a house or scammers who are looking to get something for nothing look through obituaries to find their next seller (which is why you should never put an address in the obituary).

If you’re emotionally distraught, the tasks involved with being an executor can be overwhelming in the early days after your loved one has died. Getting a quick offer to buy real estate, then, can seem like a simple way to get one thing off your plate.

However, house flippers and scammers will not offer you what the real estate is worth, so by selling to them, you deprive the beneficiaries (including yourself), of money that they’re entitled to.

Before doing anything, get real estate appraised to find out what the fair market value is. Get a licensed real estate agent involved to see if there are repairs or upgrades that need to be made to increase the value of the real estate. Then, accept only offers that come through that real estate agent.

If you’d like guidance about being an executor at funeral homes in Dayton, OH, our compassionate and experienced staff at Glickler Funeral Home & Cremation Service can help. You can come by our funeral home at 1849 Salem Ave., Dayton, OH 45406, or you can contact us today at (937) 278-4287.

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