Being an executor is a serious commitment.
A simple estate can take from 12 to 18 months to finalize the tax returns and distribute the estate assets. As an executor, particularly if this is your first time acting, understanding the role is essential in advance of administering the estate. It is often helpful to engage trust professionals such as our team early in the process.
As executor you have a fiduciary obligation to the deceased, the Will, the estate assets and the beneficiaries, which means you must always act in the best interests of the estate. Even if you are also a beneficiary, you must always act as the executor, putting aside and not taking into consideration your position as a beneficiary.
Remain fair and impartial
Whether it is a real or perceived slight, family grievances can erupt when fuelled by grief and money. The conflict and disruption to family dynamics can unfortunately be permanent. It is your duty and responsibility as executor to remain impartial during any disputes, which can be incredibly difficult if you are also a family member.