Has someone you care about requested that you act as estate executor after they die? Like most, you probably feel honored by such a request, but it may be unwise to accept in haste.
You might not know this, but estate executors have many obligations. To ensure you can follow through on such a commitment, don’t be afraid to ask the person who requested your services (or a legal representative) a few questions before accepting.
1. What does the role entail?
Executors in Virginia handle an array of administrative tasks. For example, they must pay estate taxes and debts. An executor must also distribute the decedent’s property per the terms of their will and any trusts they may have created. Ensure that you understand the full extent of your responsibilities before you say yes.
2. What is the size and scope of the estate?
When an estate is relatively small and simple, executors often have minimal legwork. However, when the deceased owns overseas property or other complex assets, the executor typically has much more to do in fulfilling their duties. Ensure you have the skills and personality to manage a large or complicated estate before agreeing to take the role.
3. Do you anticipate any conflicts among beneficiaries?
If disputes arise between those named in the decedent’s estate documents, you could face difficulties settling the estate. Ask the person who desires your service if there are any troubling family dynamics you should know about. Such knowledge can help you decide whether to refuse the appointment or to accept and secure legal guidance to help you manage possible conflicts.
Of course, these are just a few examples to consider. Make a list of questions to ask that are relevant to the estate and the family circumstances.