Your elderly relative named you as the executor of their will. Now they are dead, you’re keen to carry out this task to the best of your abilities, but you’re not quite sure what being an executor entails.
To carry out this assignment effectively, you’re going to need to possess some key strengths. Outlined below are some of the main skills you need as the executor of a will.
Strong communication skills
Coping with the death of a loved one is difficult, and disputes over inheritance can be contentious. As an executor, you’re going to have to be able to communicate with all relevant parties in an effective way. You may not have the backing of all family members, but you are willing to do everything in your power to administer the final wishes of the testator. Good communication skills will go a long way to instilling confidence in apprehensive family members, thus reducing the chances of disputes and litigation. Many probate disputes arise because of poor communication, like when executors do not keep beneficiaries adequately informed. If you are not naturally a good communicator, it is a good idea to have your attorney do the communicating for you.
Staying on task
Ont the one hand, the probate process is slow. On the other hand, there are many detailed tasks that need to be accomplished. It is easy to allow tasks to sit on the sidelines and the next thing you know, you are running up against a deadline. It is important to keep organized and stay on task so that you can complete the detailed tasks of an executor.
Perhaps the most important quality you must possess is integrity. Wills and other estate planning instruments often involve the transfer of significant sums of money or other valuable property, and these assets must end up in the right hands.
Being an executor is not an easy task, but it is a vital one. If you are having difficulties with knowing where to begin, seeking some legal guidance could help to steer you in the right direction.