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Make Sure to Protect Yourself as Executor

When the testator dies and you are appointed executor, you are facing a responsibility that is akin to having a job. From the date of the death, you have specific things that need to be done to ensure the proper administration of the will. However, there are some steps that you need to be taking all along to be sure that you can back yourself up in case allegations of mismanagement of the estate are made. If either a beneficiary or a debtor is making allegations that you have mismanaged the estate as executor, there are defenses. The first step you need to make is to speak to a Long Island estate attorney to find out what your options are.

One of the strongest defenses you can have against allegation of mismanagement is to make sure that you have a solid set of evidence accounting for your actions as executor. While an accounting would be required anyway to close the account, you want to ensure that you have solid evidence of every payment and dispersion made from the estate, along with the reasoning as to why it was made. This can serve to protect you in the future, as you will have solid evidence to show that you were handling the estate properly.

There are some things that you should really try to avoid if you want to avoid subsequent allegations of mismanaging the estate. One huge problem can be failure to keep insurance and tax payments up to date, leaving part of the estate in danger of loss. It is also not wise to disperse the property of the estate before the debts and taxes are paid, something that could leave you personally liable. You also want to make sure that you speak to investment advisers about any stock portfolios that are subject to the estate to be sure they have some reasonable growth and to make sure that any cash that is not going to be dispersed quickly is put into an interest bearing account. Ultimately, avoiding some of the issues that often come up when it comes to why allegations of mishandling are made is the best option.

Luckily, an executor does not have to avoid any risk when it comes to handling the estate. If you handle the estate assets as any prudent manager would and do the things that are legally required of you, you can defend yourself against allegations that the estate was not handled correctly. The best way to do this is to be sure that you have a proper team of professionals on your side to assist you in administering the will. Having an experienced Long Island estate attorney is a great start, but you may also want others on your side such as an accountant, a real estate agent and a financial adviser. Having all of these professional working with you is the best way to avoid mistakes when it comes to the administration of the account so you can avoid problems in the future.

If you would like to schedule a consultation with attorney Albert Gurevich, Esq., call us at (516) 777-0647.

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Persons Excluded from Serving as a Long Island Executor or Administrator

August 8, 2014

An executor or personal representative of a Long Island estate has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries and heirs to act in a responsible and legal manner. Under the New York Probate laws, specific persons are excluded from serving as executors or personal representatives of a Long Island estate including the following: Persons under the […]

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What are Normal Attorneys’ Fees on Long Island?

August 4, 2014

How to Avoid Paying too Much One of the first things that most people want to know when they are looking to litigate and estate or probate a will is how much the entire procedure will cost. In fact, when it comes to attorneys’ fees, there isn’t a sure answer since there are many factors […]

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Can an Attorney who Made a Decedent’s Will Represent the Executor in Court?

July 30, 2014

Determining the Effect of Ethical Concerns When Administering an Estate A family of someone who recently died may desire to have the same attorney who did the estate planning represent the executor. Attorneys, on the other hand, have to be concerned with their ethical responsibilities and making sure that there is no conflict of interest. […]

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Is Real Estate Included When Calculating Executor Commissions on Long Island?

July 23, 2014

Serving as executor is a huge responsibility. It is for that reason that it is written into the law in New York that when a person serves as executor, they are entitled to a commission that equals a percentage of the estate based on the total amount of that estate. Determining the amount of the […]

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Totten Trusts on Long Island

July 23, 2014

Totten trusts stem from a 1904 New York case where the Court of Appeals held that someone could open up a financial account, such as a bank account or securities account, and make someone the beneficiary of that account, giving the beneficiary access to it only after the owner died. Sometimes these are also referred […]

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How Do I Find Assets That are Hidden From an Estate?

June 10, 2014

When a Long Island decedent passes away, the executor or personal representative of the estate must located all of the decedent’s assets. This may entail finding hidden assets that the family may not have been aware of which the decedent may have held in the decedent’s sole name at the time of death. The personal […]

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What are the Responsibilities of a Trustee?

May 29, 2014

A trustee is appointed by the maker of the trust and maintains the position on a long term basis unless the trustee is removed for good cause, resigns or dies. The trustee is considered a fiduciary and must at all times at in the best interests of the beneficiaries. The trustee must manage the trust […]

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Who is Entitled to Receive a Copy of a Trust on Long Island

April 8, 2014

Since trusts are not part of the public records, the only persons entitled to copies of a trust instrument are beneficiaries. A beneficiary could make a request that the trustee provide a third party with a copy, but the trustee does not necessarily have to comply. The trustee has the discretion to decide who gets […]

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What Are the Rights of Surviving Heirs in a Long Island Estate?

April 3, 2014

A Long Island decedent’s heirs such as the decedent’s children, surviving spouse, parents, siblings, grand children, aunts, uncles and cousins may have an interest in claiming an inheritance in the decedent’s estate. Depending upon whether the decedent left a will or died intestate (without a will) will determine the rights of surviving heirs to inherit […]

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