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.